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Davallia denticulata var. denticulata


Davallia denticulata (Burm.f.) Mett. ex Kuhn var. denticulata

Family Name: Davalliaceae
Common Name: Rabbit's Foot Fern, Paku Tertutup, 假脉骨碎补, 兔脚芒

Davallia denticulata or Rabbit's Foot Fern is an native fern that grows to 0.6 m in height. It has tripinnatifid fronds, each leaflet is divided into numerous deltoid segments. The rhizomes are long, creeping covered in brown, toothed hair-like scales, resembling a rabbit's foot. The Rabbit's Foot Fern is tolerant to full sun and dry conditions and found growing on many tree species as an epiphyte.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific 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 Climber, Vine & Liana, Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.6 m


Native Distribution Tropical Asia to Hainan, Eastern Queensland
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Inland Cliff, Mountain, Agricultural Land, Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Coastal Forest, Freshwater Swamp Forest, Riverine, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an epiphytic fern that grows to 0.6 m in height.
Foliage Its fronds are glabrous, tripinnatifid (divided into pinnate thrice) measures between 16-90 cm by 13-50 cm in size. The deltoid blades have lobed margins, measuring at 5 - 27 mm long. There are false veins (bands of regularly arranged short cells without stomata) present between the true veins. The fronds are held on a pale stalk (stipe) of 4 - 50 cm long.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Its pocket-shaped sori are positioned near the margins of the blades on the fertile fronds. Its spores are dispersed by wind.
Others - Plant Morphology It has a stout, long-creeping rhizome (horizontal stem) with numerous brown, toothed scales that are hair-like, resembling a rabbit's foot.
Habitat Found epiphytic on many species of trees of various forest types, partially sheltered by its canopy or various forest. Epilithic on granite, limestone, sandstone or terrestrial on different soil types ranging from the altitude of 0 - 2200 m.
Cultivation Species is tolerant to full sun, dry conditions. Carry out light misting on the soil surface to keep the soil moist and prevent rhizomes from drying out.
Etymology Its genus, Davallia, named after Edmond Davall, an English-born Swiss botanist from the 18th century. The species epithet, denticulata, refers to finely toothed, in relation to the rhizome scales with short spreading curved teeth.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable as an epiphyte for growing on trees.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Shallow Media (8 -10cm), Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Coastal, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Riverine

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Propagation Method Spore, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery
Foliar Type
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Irregularly Incised, Crenate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Oblique / Asymmetrical

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent
Root Type Underground
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Underground (Rhizome)



Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (continuously updated). Plants of the World Online | Kew Science. Accessed 16 December 2021.

Image Repository



Master ID 249
Species ID 1545
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: 31 October 2022.