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Blechnum orientale
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Blechnum orientale L., 1753

Species:B. orientale
Common Names:Centipede Fern, Paku Lipan


The rhizome is more or less erect, thick and densely covered with narrow, dark brown scales. The fronds are pinnate, pinnatifid or pinnatisect and rarely simple. Pinnae are linear, entire or dentate. The fertile fronds are similar to the sterile or with narrower pinnae. Sori are on the underside of the pinnae, linear and aligned to the midrib. The indusia are narrow and open towards the midrib.

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


Found from India, Nepal, south China, throughout Southeast Asia to southern Japan, Australia and Polynesia.


Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Macritchie Reservoir Park

Locality Map

General Biology

Blechnum orientale is a primary coloniser once an area of forest is cleared. It may remain the dominant plant if there sre repeated fires of the area. It is a fern of open areas.

Life Cycle

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

Ecological Role

A coloniser of forest clearing, especially by fire.

Human Uses

The tender young fronds are eaten as a vegetable. The croziers may be eaten as a delecacy, resembling asparagus in taste and flavour. The rhizome is washed, roasted and ground into a flour to make a kind of unleavened bread.


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.

Parris, B. S., R. Khew, R. C. K. Chung, L. G. Saw & E. Soepadmo (eds.), 2010. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series I: Ferns and Lycophytes. Vol. 1. Malayan Forest records No. 48. Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, Kepong. 249 pp.

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

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