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Adiantum latifolium
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Adiantum latifolium Lam., 1783

Species:A. latifolium
Common Names:Adiantum latifolium
Status:Exotic, naturalised


The rhizome is long-creeping, 2-3 mm in diameter and covered with pale brown scales. The stipe is brown to black and 25-50 cm long. The lamina is 20-40 x 18-30 cm and bipinnate compound at the base, simple pinnate at the apex. The pinnules are dimidiate, oblong to triangular, sometimes slightly falcate, more or less sessile and 1.5-6 x 0.5-1.6 cm.  The margin of the sterile pinnules are minutely serrated. The reniform to oblong sori are marginal, each with a reflexed flap of the margin acting as an indusium.

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


Native to tropical America from Mexico to South America, as well as he Greater Antilles, Virgin Islands and Trinidad.


Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Locality Map

General Biology

This is a lowland tropical fern of South America. It grows on slopes or on the ground of rainforest where the canopy is open. In Mexico it grows in coffer-cacao plantations.

Life Cycle

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

Human Uses

Adiantum latifolium has been used in Latin American traditional medicine as anxiolytic, analgesic and antiinflammatory. It has potential as a garden ornamental as the new growth is attractive in its deep mauve to purplish-pink colouration.


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.

Goudey, C. J., 1985. Maidenhair ferns in cultivation. Lothian Publiahing Co. Pty. Ltd. Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland. 336pp.

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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