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Cheilanthes tenuifolia
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Cheilanthes tenuifolia (Burm. f.) Sw., 1806

Species:C. tenuifolia
Common Names:Narrow-leaved Lip Fern, Resam Lumut, Resam Padi, Paku Telur Belangkas


This is a small fern of up to 70 cm tall. The rhizome is ascending, wiry and branched, 7 x 0.3 cm and covered with scales. Fronds are tripinnate and dimorphous, the sterile smaller than the fertile. The stipe is slender, 20-25 cm long on the fertile and 4-6 cm on sterile fronds. The sterile fronds are broadly deltoid, to about 10 x 8 cm while the fertile fronds meaure about 10-30 cm long and about 10 cm wide. The pinnae of the sterile fronds are close, the lowest about 6 cm long, with the pinnules on the basiscopic side increasing towards the base and are longer than the acroscopic side. The pinnules of the lower and middle pinnae pinnate are elliptic, entire or slightly lobed. In the fertile fronds the lower pinnae are widely spaced, the innae shaped as in the sterile fronds, the lowest about 8 cm long. The tertiary leaflets bear the sori around the vein endings, protected when young by the reflexed margin of the lamina.

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


Distributed throughout the tropics of Asia and Oceania, from northern India, Sri Lanka, southern China and Taiwan, throughout Southeast Asia to Australia and many Pacific Islands.

General Biology

This is a fern of open areas in the lowland - on bare earthbanks, rock surfaces and even on old walls.

Life Cycle

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

Human Uses

A decoction of the plant is used as a hair tonic in Malaysia and Indonesia.


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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