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Lindsaea ensifolia


Lindsaea ensifolia Sw.

Family Name: Lindsaeaceae
Synonyms: Lindsaea ensifolia Sw. subsp. ensifolia, Lindsaea ensifolia Sw. subsp. coriacea <1>

Lindsaea ensifolia is a terrestrial fern native to Singapore. It has pinnate fronds with smooth margin clustered together and short-creeping rhizomes covered in stiff, brown, bristle-like scales. The sori is linear, continuous, produced on the margins protected by an indusia.


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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Distribution Tropical and Subtropical Africa and Asia to West Pacific Islands.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Freshwater Swamp Forest, Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Disturbed Area / Open Ground)
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal, Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Least Concern (LC))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a terrestrial fern with clustering foliage, up to 2 cm apart, sometimes found growing on the surface of rocks.
Foliage The blade is thin, pinnate, simple when young, 15 - 45 cm long. Each leaflet is lanceolate to linear, measuring 10 - 22 cm long and 0.4 - 2.5 cm wide with a smooth margin. Sterile leaflets tend to have toothed margins. They are held on a long, angular stalk, 10 - 35 cm long, straw-coloured to reddish brown, parallel grooves may be present lengthwise.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant Sori is continuous, linear, produced along the margins, protected by a indusia, 0.4 - 0.5 mm wide.
Others - Plant Morphology Rhizomes are short-creeping, up to 2.0 mm long and 1.0 - 2.5 mm wide, covered in light reddish brown scales that are bristle-like, stiff, toothed at the base.
Habitat Occurs in swampy to moderately dry places, exposed or in light shade areas from sea level to 1750 m in altitude. <1>
Cultivation It can be propagated by spores or rhizome cuttings.

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Moist Soils, Waterlogged Soils, Well-Drained Soils

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Lots of Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Spore, Storage Organ (Rhizome)


Foliar Type Compound (Odd-Pinnate)
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Lanceolate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire, Dentate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate

Non - Foliar and Storage

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


References <1> Kramer, K.U. (1959). Lindsaea. In: Kramer, K.U. (ed.) Lindsaea Group. Flora Malesiana, ser. 2, Pteridophytes, vol. 1, pt. 3, pp. 212. Leiden: Rijksherbarium.

Image Repository



Master ID 34300
Species ID 8713
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: 21 March 2023.

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