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Stenochlaena palustris

Family Name: Blechnaceae
Synonyms: Stenochlaena scandens
Common Name: Climbing Fern, Akar Paku, Paku Ranu, Paku Miding, 光叶藤蕨
Semi Shade Moderate Water Native to Singapore Fruit or Vegetable Ornamental Leaves Ferns and Lycophytes Epiphyte


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
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and India. 
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Ground fern with a creeping or climbing habit, up to 10 m in length, green rhizome that is scale-less when mature. The growing end is covered with overlapping, round to shield-shaped, brown scales.
Foliage Frond stalks are 15 - 20 cm long, well spaced on the rhizome and are smooth and hairless except when they are young. The frond axis is slightly grooved on the upper surface, mature fronds are stiff, leathery and dark green, young fronds are pale reddish-green. The fronds are pinnate compound, the new fronds being red-pink and softer in texture as compared to the mature fronds. There are two types of fronds, the sterile fronds have ovate to ovate-lanceolate leaflets while the fertile fronds are very narrow, the leaflet margins packed with sporangia. Both types are 40 - 80 cm long, have 8 - 15 pairs of leaflets and 1 terminal leaflet. Upper leaflets are reduced in size and lateral leaflets usually have ear-like lobes, but this is absent in the terminal leaflet.
Others - Plant Morphology Spores have a 2-sided symmetry and are colourless and transparent.
Habitat Occurs in the lowlands, open places and secondary forests where there is enough moisture, most common in swamp forest. 
Etymology Genus Stenochlaena means "narrow-cloak" and refers to the sporangia covering the entire surface of the linear fertile pinnae. Species palustris means "of swampy ground".
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The young fronds are collected as a vegetable and fried with sambal belacan.)
[Others]: A durable rope can be made from the stems.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Leaf

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Spore, Division


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed

Image Repository



Master ID 30436
Species ID 4745
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: 14 October 2021.