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Drynaria quercifolia
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Drynaria quercifolia (L.) J. Smith, 1841

Species:D. quercifolia
Common Names:Oak-leaf fern


Rhizome 2 cm thick, the younger portions densely covered with dark brown scales. Scales of about 2 cm long, base peltate, narrowing to the apex and edge finely toothed. Nest fronds to 40 x 30 cm, lobed with the lobes broad and rounded. Foliage fronds with stipe of about 30 cm long, lamina to 100 x 40 cm, lobes to about 1 cm from the midrib and oblique. Sori in a regular row on each side of the main vein, round and 2 mm wide.

Read more about the Polypodiales order.
Read more about the Polypodiaceae family.


India, South China, Malaysia to Fiji and tropical Australia.


Throughout Singapore.

Locality Map

General Biology

Epiphytic on tree trunk and large branches, the creeping rhizome is anchored to the substratum by the many roots growing from the ventral surface. Nest fronds overlap along the rhizome, turning brown with age but not falling off. They  cover the rhizome and trap whatever falling leaves they can that provide nutrients to the fern when they rot. Foliage fronds grow well beyond the nest fronds, turning brown and detaching from the main midrib with age, to eventually leave a bare brown stalk made up of the frond's stipe and midrib. This fern grows as an epiphyte in lowland forest, secondary forest, urban areas and wayside trees. It is a less efficient litter collector than the Bird's Nest Fern or the Staghorn Fern.

Life Cycle

For an account of the life history of a fern, see Pyrrosia piloselloides.


de Winter, W. P. & V. B. Amoroso (eds.) (2003). Plant resources of South-East Asia No. 15(2). Cryptogams: Ferns and fern allies. Prosea Foundation, Borgor, Indonesia. 268 pp.

Holttum, R. E. (1966). A revised flora of Malaya. II Ferns of Malaya. Govt. Printing Office, Singapore (2nd ed.). 653 pp.

Wee, Y. C., 2005. Ferns of the tropics. Times Editions-Marshall Cavendish, Singapore. 2nd ed. 190 pp.

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