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Angiopteris evecta (Forst.) Hoffm.

Family Name: Marattiaceae
Common Name: Elephant Fern, Paku Gajah, Turnip Fern, Duku, 莲座蕨
Semi Shade Moderate Water Native to Singapore Indoor Plant Ornamental Leaves Ferns and Lycophytes Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular
Maximum Height 3 m


Native Distribution Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore to Australia and the Pacific
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Riverine)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form This fern consists of a short, fleshy stem (rhizome) that bears many leaves at the tip.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked, bipinnate leaves are up to 300 by 200 cm. Its primary leaflets (pinnae) are up to 100 cm long or more. Its second order leaflets (pinnules) are narrowly oblong to elliptic, and usually 20 by 2.5 cm, each with a swollen fleshy stalk, about 3 mm long.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant The sporangia (spore-producing structures) develop on the underside along the sides of the pinnules.
Habitat It grows along shaded streams in primary forest, and on hills to 1,200 m altitude.
Associated Fauna It is the food plant for caterpillars of the moths, grass webworm (Herpetogramma licarsisalis), and Spilosoma vandepolli.
Cultivation It can be propagated by spores or division of the rhizome.
Etymology Genus Angiopteris is from the Greek word "aggeion-pteruc" where "Angio" refers to winged vessel (the aggregated sporangia) and "pteris" means a fern. Species evecta means lifted up. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Medicinal ( The leaves are pounded to relieve coughs. The roots are used to stop bleeding after a miscarriage. The rhizome is used medicinally in Thailand.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This is a large, attractive, hardy ornamental fern, for shaded sites. Because of its size, it can serve as a centrepiece of a landscape design.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Focal Plant, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Propagation Method Spore


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Image Repository



Master ID 243
Species ID 1539
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 June 2022.