Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Stenochlaena palustris (Burm. f.) Bedd, 1876

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Filicophyta
Class:Pteridopsida
Order:Polypodiales
Family:Blechnaceae
Genus:Stenochlaena
Species:S. palustris
Common Names:Climbing Fern, Liane-fern, Akar Paku, Paku Miding, Paku Ranu
Status:Common

Description

The rhizome is long-creeping or climbing, 1 cm in diameter, green and scaleless when mature. The frond is simple pinnate compound with a 7-30 cm long stipe. Young fronds are reddish. There are 4-14 pairs of alternate pinnae along the rachis whose length varies from from 10 to 24 cm. The shape of the pinnae similarly varies from ovate to oblong. The fertile fronds bear very narrow pinnae, each 20 x 0.3 cm and the lower surface exept for the midrib and a very narrow margin is covered with sporangia.

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

Distribution

From India throughout Southeast Asia to Australia and Polynesia.

Locality Map

General Biology

This is a common fern of open wet grounds, whether around freshwater swamps, the landward side of mangroves, among beach vegetation or along rivers. The plant is a scrabler, climbing high up trees but never in shady forests, and even forming thickets.

Life Cycle

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

Human Uses

The croziers and the young red fronds are eaten as a vegetable. The rhizome is used as an inferior substitute for rattan for binding purposes and making baskets. In Sumatra the fronds are used as a mild laxative while in Malaysia they are used to treat diarrhoea. The fronds are used externally or the juice taken internally for fever. In the Nicobar Islands the plant is used as an abortifacient and contraceptive.

References

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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