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Asplenium nidus
Alternative Botanical Names
None found.
Common Names
Bird's Nest Fern
Potential or Traditional Uses
Photo of Asplenium nidus
This fern, Asplenium nidus, grows in a rosette shape with all of the fronds growing from a central area. The fronds are undivided and sword-shaped; they can be 2 to 4 feet long and 3 to 8 inches wide. They are light green with a dark brown or black midrib. The spores cases are arranged in lines along the veins of the fronds. (Bornhorst 1996; Valier 1995)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Asplenium nidus is indigenous to Hawaii, other parts of Polynesia, and to areas as far west as Africa. These ferns grow either terrestrially (on the ground) or epiphytically (in trees or on rocks). In Hawaii, they are found at elevations up to 2,500 feet. (Valier 1995)
Propagation by Spores
Asplenium nidus can be grown from spores. Place a leaf with mature spores on a piece of paper or in a paper bag. In a day or two, the spores can be collected. Place the spores on the surface of moist, sterile medium in a clean pot. Place in a shady, sheltered location and mist daily. (Bornhorst 1996)
Propagation by Cuttings
Not applicable.
Propagation by Division
No information located to date.
Propagation by Air Layers
Not applicable.
Propagation by Grafting
Not applicable.
Propagation by Tissue Culture
Asplenium nidus can be grown by tissue culture. (Bornhorst 1996)
Bornhorst, Heidi L. 1996. Growing native Hawaiian plants: a how-to guide for the gardener. Honolulu: The Bess Press. p. 76-77.

Valier, Kathy. 1995. Ferns of Hawai'i. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. p. 62.

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The image in this record is used with permission from Dr. Gerald Carr's Web site "Hawaiian Native Plants" at

Last updated:
27 January 2000

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