Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium nidus L.






Neottopteris nidus (L.) J.Sm
Thamnopteris nidus (L.) C.Presl
Thamnopteris mauritiana C.Presl
Neottopteris mauritiana (C.Presl) Fée

Common name

Birds Nest Fern.


Rhizome erect, thick (at least to 2.5 cm but probably more); rhizome scales golden brown, narrowly triangular in outline, to 25 x 3 mm, margins with protuberances, apex gradually tapering into a hair-tip. Fronds tufted. Stipe blackish, almost absent or to 5 cm long. Lamina very shiny with black midrib (fide Verdcourt), coriaceous, narrowly elliptic, 70–200 x (10.5–)15–22 cm, simple, apex gradually tapering to a sharp point; costa raised above, almost flat beneath; veins forked from near base, dense and at 30–45° to midrib, united just before margin with a marginal vein; veins and costa scaly when young, glabrescent. Sori along the veins in the distal half of the lamina, from near midrib/costa to 1/4 to 1/2 of the width of the lamina, linear, (5–)17–58 mm long; indusium membranous, entire, to 0.5 mm wide.



nidus: nest, a place in which something is formed or deposited, a site of origin.


Moist Forest, closed bush.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Indian Ocean Isl., India, China, Japan, SE Asia, N Australia, Micronesia, Pacific Isl. .

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Tanzania .

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 8 - 10. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 91.