Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Asplenium longissimum


Asplenium longissimum Blume

Family Name: Aspleniaceae
Synonyms: Asplenium longicauda
Common Name: Spleenwort

Asplenium longissimum or Spleenwort is a fern that grows terrestrially or as an epiphyte. Fronds are long and drooping, up to 1 m long or more. Each leaflet is lance to broadly lance-shaped, long tapered tip, boxy to wedge-shaped base with ear-like lobes. The stalk is purple to brown coloured, up to 20 cm long. The species epithet, longissimum is used to describe the species characteristics of having very long fronds.


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

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 Weeping / Pendulous


Native Distribution Southeast Asia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a fern that is found as a terrestrial or epiphytic plant. It produces short rhizome measuring about 5 mm wide, densely scaly.
Foliage Its drooping long fronds measures up to 1 m long or more. Small plantlets (bulbils) are produced on the stalk near the tip of the frond. Each leaflet (pinnae) is lance to broadly lance shaped with a long tapered tip and toothed margins. Two rows of ridges are found along the top surface of the midrib. The base is boxy, wedge-shaped to round with irregular ear-like lobes on both sides, black forked scales are found on the underside of the leaflet. The stalk (stipe) is purple to brown coloured, densely covered in dense scales measuring up to 20 cm long. Scales are flat, lattice-like, packed tightly together.
Others - Plant Morphology Sori are produced on both sides along the midrib, starting from the midrib towards the margin. They are long, linear to slightly curved
Habitat Occur on dry ground along the path in light shade at about 200 m altitude
Etymology Its genus Asplenium, means without spleen and is usually a reference for the fern to cure spleen ailments. The species epithet longissimum, refers to the fern's character of having very long fronds.

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Small Gardens, Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate to Slow
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Spore


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate, Truncate / Square, Rounded / Obtuse

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Non Woody
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)


References Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (continuously updated). Plants of the World Online | Kew Science. Accessed 13 July 2022.

Tagawa, M. & Iwatsuki, K. (1985). Pteridophytes. Flora of Thailand, 3(2), pp. 281-282. Forest Herbarium, Royal Forest Department

Image Repository



Master ID 244
Species ID 1540
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: 13 July 2022.