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Blechnum occidentale is critically imperiled in Florida and Texas, exotic in Georgia and Hawaii, and possibly extirpated in Louisiana (Natureserve Explorer, 2013). Blechnum occidentale is usually less than <0.5 m tall (Colie, 2000). The habitat of this fern includes rocky creek banks, woodlands, and hammocks (Nelson, 2000: 46).
Blechnum occidentale is used in Brazilian folk medicine for treatment of inflammatory, pulmonary, and liver diseases, and urinary infections (Nonato et al., 2009: 102). Methanolic extracted were made from the fronds of the fern and tested on rats using formalin, nociceptive, writhing, and tail flick tests (Nonato et al., 2009: 103). Blechnum occidentale does contain antinoceptive and anti-inflammatory properties (Nonato et al., 2009: 107).
Coile, N.C. 2000. Notes on Florida’s Endangered and Threated Plants. Gainesville, Florida: Division of Plant Industry; available at; http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/enpp/botany/images/fl-endangered-plants.pdf; accessed on February 15, 2013.
NatureServe Explorer. 2013. Blechnum occidentale. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia; available at: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?searchSciOrCommonName=Blechnum+occidentale&x=10&y=6; accessed on February 15, 2013.
Nelson, G. 2000. Ferns of Florida: A Reference and Field Guide. 208 pp, Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press.
Nonato, F.R., Barros, T.A., & Lucchese, A.M. 2009. Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of Blechnum occidentale L. extract. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 125 (1): 102-107.