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Sphenomeris chinensis
Alternative Botanical Names
Odontosoria chinensis
Common Names
Lace Fern
Potential or Traditional Uses
Lei (Flower or Seed)
No photo available
The hairless fronds of the fern Sphenomeris chinensis are glossy light green on burnt-orange stalks and are finely divided (divided 3 times). They can grow from 2 to 5 feet tall and clumps can reach several feet in diameter. Spores are formed at the tips of the smallest segments. (Bornhorst 1996; Koob 1998; Valier 1995)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Sphenomeris chinensis is indigenous to Hawai'i, other parts of Polynesia, and east Asia. It is commonly found in forest openings and other disturbed areas such as along trails or roads, or on landslides when there is adequate moisture. This fern grows from sea level to an elevation of at least 4,000 feet. (Bornhorst 1996; Koob 1998; Valier 1995)
Propagation by Spores
The technique for growing Sphenomeris chinensis from spores has not been thoroughly worked out. (Koob 1998)
Propagation by Cuttings
Sphenomeris chinensis is most easily propagated from rhizome cuttings. Cuttings should have a minimum of 3 or 4 mature fronds and some new growth. (Koob 1998)
Propagation by Division
Sphenomeris chinensis clumps can be easily dug up and divided. Divisions should not be smaller than 4 to 6 inches in diameter. (Koob 1998)
Propagation by Air Layers
Not applicable.
Propagation by Grafting
Not applicable.
Propagation by Tissue Culture
No information located to date.
Bornhorst, Heidi L. 1996. Growing native Hawaiian plants: a how-to guide for the gardener. Honolulu: The Bess Press. p. 71-72.

Koob, Gregory A. 1998. Pala'a: Hawaiian lace fern. Hawai'i Horticulture 1 (6):7-9.

Valier, Kathy. 1995. Ferns of Hawai'i. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. p. 56-57.

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Last updated:
28 March 2000

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