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Sticherus truncatus


Sticherus truncatus (Willd.) Nakai

Family Name: Gleicheniaceae
Synonyms: Gleichenia truncata (Willd.) Spreng., Gleichenia truncata (Willd.) Spreng. var. truncata

Sticherus truncatus is a terrestrial fern native to Singapore. The whole frond and main branches are bilaterally symmetrical, each branch fork dichotomously several times. Except for the primary branch, the secondary and latter branches are leafy, covered in pairs of pinnae. Buds are covered in narrow brown scales, protected by 2 feathery 'stipules'. Often mistaken for a Dicranopteris species, this native fern can be distinguished by its leafy dichotomous branching.


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Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

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


Native Distribution South China, Continental Southeast Asia and Malesia
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Disturbed Area / Open Ground, Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Vulnerable (VU))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a terrestrial fern forming weak self-supporting thickets or found scrambling upwards through taller vegetation, growing indefinitely in length.
Foliage The whole frond and main branches are bilaterally symmetrical, each branch forks equally (dichotomous branching) several times. The primary branch is leafless, deeply lobed, while the secondary and latter branches are lined with pairs of pinnae. Dormant buds are covered in narrow brown scales, protected by 2 feathery 'stipules'. The ultimate branch bear deeply lobed, pinnatifid foliage with lobes vary in length even on the same branch between 20 - 50 mm long and 2.5 mm wide.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant The sori is round, produced on either sides of the blade in a single line.
Others - Plant Morphology Rhizomes are long-creeping.
Habitat Occurs on the edge of forest, 0 - 1600 m in thickets at higher altitudes, often growing with other 'Resam' species.
Similar Sitcherus truncatus is similar to Dicranopteris species. The key differences are found in the dichotomous branching and shape of the 'stipules'. Apart from the main branch, the subsequent branches of Sticherus truncatus are leafy. Dormant buds are protected by 2 feathery 'stipules'. Unlike the Dicranopteris species where the branches are leafless, dormant buds are protected by lobed stipules. <1> <2>
Cultivation It can be propagated by spores or rhizomes.

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Spore, Storage Organ (Rhizome)


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate, Rounded, Obtuse



<1> Holttum, R.E. (1959). Dicranopteris. In: Holttum, R.E. (ed.) Gleicheniaceae. Flora Malesiana, ser. 2, Pteridophyta, vol. 1, pt. 1, pp. 20-21. Leiden: Rijksherbarium.

<2> Tagawa, M. & Iwatsuki, K. (1979). Flora of Thailand, vol. 3(1), pp. 53. Bangkok: Forest Herbarium, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Image Repository



Master ID 34309
Species ID 8722
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: 27 March 2023.