These ferns are among the few that can tolerate saline soil and
grows in the back mangroves. But they cannot tolerate flooding.
Besides brackish water, it also grows in freshwater swamps and
Two species are commonly seen in Sungei Buloh Nature Park.
A. aureum has rounded leaf tips while A. speciosum has pointed leaf
The young leaves are reddish. When older fronds become fertile, the
underside of the leaflets at the tip becomes covered with red-brown
spore bearing leaflets
Uses: The young shoots can be eaten raw as a salad or cooked (Malay,
India, Sri Lanka). The leaves are also used as cattle feed. Older
leaves when dried are parchment-like and used as fire-resistant roof
thatch (Vietnam and the Pacific). The fibres of old leaves may also
be used to make cord.
Traditional medicinal uses: Rhizomes are pounded into a paste and
used to treat wounds and boils (Malay). Leaves are used to stop
Role in the habitat: Among the first large low-growing plants to
grow on the landward side of the mangrove, the fern provides shade
for other plants and trees to take root. But on cleared mangroves,
it can form impenetrable thickets which prevents other plants from
taking root. Thus it is often considered a weed. For animals, these
thickets provide safety and shelter. Birds such as the Purple Heron
(Ardea purpurea) make their nests in these thickets.