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Microsorum punctatum 'Grandiceps'


Microsorum punctatum 'Grandiceps'

Family Name: Polypodiaceae
Synonyms: Polypodium punctatum 'Grandiceps'
Common Name: Terrestrial Elkhorn Fern, Crested Fern, Fish-Tail Fern, Fishtail Strap Fern, Climbing Bird's Nest Fern, Dwarf Elkhorn Fern, 鱼尾星蕨


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

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.6 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.6 m


Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Epiphytic, rhizomatous fern, able to grow up to 60 - 80 cm tall and 20 - 30 cm wide.
Foliage Light green, glossy fronds are strap-like and leathery with entire or wavy leaf margin, measuring about 60 - 80 cm long and 5 - 10 cm wide. The frond consists of a single blade that forks into 2 parts repeatedly, forming a crested tip that resembles a fish's tail. The midrib is raised and highly prominent. 
Stems Has an underground horizontal stem known as a rhizome.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Spores occur on the frond underside in small, dark brown spots.
Cultivation This cultivar is fast-growing and requires little maintenance. Plant specimens 0.5 - 0.6 m apart in fertile, well-draining soil that is acidic to neutral (pH 5.5 - 7). Keep the soil consistently moist, but not soggy. Feed plants monthly with a water soluble fertilizer or apply a granular slow-release fertilizer annually. It grows best in a humid environment. Misting plants and grouping them together increases the humidity around them. Alternatively, potted plants can be placed on a bed of wet pebbles, but the standing water needs to be changed regularly to prevent mosquito breeding. This cultivar is susceptible to mealy bugs and scale insects.
Etymology The genus "Microsorum" is derived from the Greek word for small ("mikros") and the spore-containing structure known as sorus.. It refers to the small sori of Microsorum punctatum which is the type species of this genus. The species epithet "punctatum" refers to the small pits that occur in the fronds of the parent species Microsporum punctatum and cultivar 'Grandiceps.'

Landscaping Features

Landscaping This cultivar is grown for its ornamental foliage. It is suitable for container plantings and may be placed indoors or outdoors.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Container Planting, 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 Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Division, Spore
Propagation Method Remarks Propagate by spores, rhizome cuttings or dividing plants. Spores collected from the frond underside are dried in an envelope and then germinated on moistened peat moss in a dim, humid spot. Germination may require a few months to occur.
Planting Distance 0 to 0


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Venation Dichotomous
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Truncate / Square
Typical Foliar Area Macrophyll ( 182.25cm2 - 1640.25 cm2 )

Image Repository



Master ID 256
Species ID 1552
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: 19 August 2021.