Vanilla scented bracken

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by dt-van, Dec 2, 2023.

  1. dt-van

    dt-van Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Walking near Whyte Lake 2023-11-23 we noticed a faint but definite vanilla scent, very similar to crushed vanilla leaf Achlys triphylla. We narrowed it down to a bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum turned brown but still standing. With more sniffing we found about 1 in ten of the bracken near our path had that scent. The darkest brown had the strongest scent. We picked one, and after a week of drying the scent has reduced but not disappeared.
    A week later on another West Vancouver hike several people noticed a similar scent near a patch of bracken turned brown, but could not narrow it to any particular plant.
    A Google search for "+bracken +vanilla scent" turns up ads for perfume.
    Has anyone met this before?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,701
    Likes Received:
    2,141
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,979
    Likes Received:
    598
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    wcutler likes this.
  4. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    264
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Bracken ferns are well-known to contain a carcinogenic compound, which was addressed in the article. However, people who eat bracken fiddleheads or even live in an area where bracken ferns are abundant have been shown to have elevated levels of certain cancers. I certainly wouldn't make eating bracken fiddleheads a habit.
     
    wcutler, Margot and Daniel Mosquin like this.
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    5,979
    Likes Received:
    598
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    For locals who wish to indulge in some taste testing, matcha warabimochi is available at Konbiniya Japan Centre. I was told other flavors are available at other times. Unfortunately I can't tell you what's written on the wrapping as the text is in Japanese.

    If you are concerned with the potential carcinogenic factor, chances are the mochi is made from potato starch rather than bracken starch.
     

Share This Page