Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Drynaria quercifolia

Family Name: Polypodiaceae
Synonyms: Aglaomorpha quercifolia
Common Name: Oak Leaf Fern, Daun Kepala Tupai, Sakat Laipang, 栎叶槲蕨
Semi Shade Little Water Occasional Misting Native to Singapore Suitable for Roadsides Ornamental Leaves Ferns and Lycophytes Epiphyte Herbaceous Plant


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte, Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 1.5 m


Native Distribution Indochina, Peninsular Malaysia, and tropical Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, 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 with a rhizome (horizontal stem) that is thick and fleshy with many scales, giving it a woolly appearance. The scales are dark brown and narrowed gradually to the tip. 
Foliage Its simple, lobed fronds (leaves) develop as 2 distinct types, nest and foliage fronds. The nest fronds are sessile, 40 by 30 cm, sterile, long-persisting, capture debris as humus for the plant, and protect the rhizome from exposure to sunlight and wind. The foliage fronds are stalked, 130 by 40 cm, fertile, lobed almost to the midribs, deciduous, drooping, and bear sori when mature. The blades split from the midrib when a foliage frond is old or experiences harsh external conditions.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Its sori are round and exindusiate (not covered by a membrane). They are arranged in a regular row on both sides of the main veins. Its spores are dispersed by wind.
Cultivation It can be propagated by spores.
Etymology Drynaria, derived from the Greek term dryas, oak-shaped leaf, referring to the leaf shape of the fern; Latin quercifolia, with leaves that are like those of oak, Quercus-folium
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( The plant extract is sprinkled on patients to relieve fever. The pounded leaf can be applied to treat swellings.)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for parks and roadsides as an epiphyte on trees or lithophyte on walls.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Little Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Propagation Method Spore


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Brown
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery

Image Repository



Master ID 252
Species ID 1548
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: 24 June 2022.