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Drynaria rigidula (Sw.) Bedd.

Family Name: Polypodiaceae
Synonyms: Aglaomorpha rigidula (Sw.) Hovenkamp & S.Linds., Polypodium rigidulum Sw.
Common Name: Basket Fern, Oak Leaf Fern, Bird's Nest Fern

Drynaria rigidula or Basket Fern is an epiphytic fern that can grow 1.5 m long. It produces 2 types of fronds; nest fronds and foliage fronds. The nest frond is oak-like, brownish red while the foliage frond is made up of linear leaflets held on a long stalk up to 40 cm long. The Basket Fern can be mounted or grown in a basket with good drainage soil mix and high organic matter.

Semi Shade Moderate Water Ornamental Leaves Ferns and Lycophytes Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Maximum Height 1.5 m


Native Distribution Southeast Asia to Pacific Islands, Australia
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an epiphytic fern that can reach up to 1.5 long, with stout creeping rhizomes covered in dense brown to dark brown hairs.
Foliage There are two type of foliage; nest fronds (sterile) and foliage fronds (fertile). Nest fronds are oak-like, stalkless, brownish red in colour with denticulate margins. They have a papery texture and tend to overlap one another, measuring between 10 - 30 cm long and 5 - 15 cm wide. Foliage fronds are pinnate, green, sometimes erect. They can reach between 25 - 200 cm long, made up of linear leaflets with crenate to serrate margins. Each frond is held on a brownish red to purple stipe with short fine hairs measuring up to 40 cm long.
Others - Plant Morphology The sori are arranged in pairs on both sides of the midrib. The round sori (1 - 2 mm wide) are sunken into the foliage, which creates buldges on the upper surface of the foliage.
Habitat Epiphytic, occasionally terrestrial. Occurs in various types of primary and secondary forest, savannah and plantations, wayside trees from sea level to altitude 2400m. Also epilithic, on lava or limestone.
Cultivation As an epiphyte, it can be tied or mounted on a fern tree bark or grown in a basket that has good drainage soil mix with high organic matter content. Feed it with weak liquid fertilisers routinely.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Propagation Method Spore


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Brown
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Basal
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s)
Foliar Margin Crenate, Denticulate, Serrate / Toothed
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Foliar Base Cuneate

Non - Foliar and Storage

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


References Hovenkamp, P.H. (1998). Polypodiaceae. Flora Malesiana. ser. 2, Pteridophyta, 3(1). Leiden: Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (continuously updated). Plants of the World Online | Kew Science. Accessed 13  January 2022.

Image Repository



Master ID 34237
Species ID 8650
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: 26 August 2022.