Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Psilotum complanatum


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Whisk Fern)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant, Epiphyte, Lithophyte
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution South America, South Australia, Fiji Islands, Mexico, Malay Peninsula
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Epiphytic fern with a pendent growth habit, creeping rhizomes measuring about 0.5 - 1.5 mm wide.
Foliage Foliage reduced to small scale-like leaves.
Stems Green aerial stems branched from the base, flattened and with a distinct midrib, measuring up to 20 - 100 cm long.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Synangia yellow and measuring about 1 - 3 mm wide.
Etymology Psilotum comes from the Greek word psilos, which means smooth and referring to the smooth stems. Species complanatum means flattened out upon the ground.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Hanging Basket

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils
Propagation Method Spore


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Green - Light Green

Image Repository



Master ID 31458
Species ID 5855
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: 22 November 2023.