Ferns have always struck me as being magical plants.
They are certainly one of the oldest, and long before there were other trees, massive forests of tree ferns covered parts of the earth.
In the UK they are found in cool, dark and mysterious places. They form the undergrowth in many ancient woodlands, and by ancient springs. They don't need good soil and are happy to re-populate derelict ground or old industrial sites.
I love the way they emerge in Spring and unroll their fractal fronds. Some times patterns on icy windows resemble feathers or fern fronds and it is because these follow the same method of construction. A piece plucked from a frond has the same overall shape as the entire frond.
They are said to be at their most magical around Midsummer, and are one of the plants associated with the Fairy Folk.
It is said that at sunset on Midsummer's Eve the ferns put out a bud which glows blue in the dusky woods. It grows into a flower through the evening and at midnight is ready to shed its seeds. These magical fern seeds should be gathered by holding a pewter plate beneath the plant, while you gently tap it with a hazel wand. The seed will fall onto the plate and should be stored carefully as they will confer invisibility on the user.
Of course we know, these days, that fern does not have flowers, and that it reproduces by spores, or by sending out underground runners.
But at midnight on Midsummer's Eve, when the Fairies are about, and you know how to enter the magical world, then you can still gather your magical fern seed, and work the spell of invisibility.