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Acrostichum aureum
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Acrostichum aureum L., 1753

Species:A. aureum
Common Names:Swamp Fern, Piai Raya


This is a large fern of up to 4 m tall with thisk prop roots. Scales are found on the rhizome and at the base of the stipes. Fronds are pinnate compound, turfted, erect and up to 4 m long of which the stipe is about 1 m long. The pinnae are simple, stalked, 8-50 x 1-7 cm and bright red when young. The fertile pinnae are found on the upper portion, looking like the sterile but smaller, 10-15 x 1-2.5 cm and the entire under surface covered with sporangia except for the midrib.

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


Pantropical in distribution, occuring along the coasts of Asia, America and Africa.


Common in all mangrove areas.

Locality Map

General Biology

This is a common mangrove fern, occurring in clusters in open areas subjected to tidal flows but not total inundation by the saline water. They are thus found towards the landward side of the mangrove. Young plants have simple fronds.

Life Cycle

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

Human Uses

Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable. In Vietnam the dried fronds are used as thatching materials. In traditional medicine, the fronds and rhizomes are grated or pounded and used externally to treat wounds, ulcers and boils.


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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