Asplenium nidus

Asplenium nidus

Asplenium nidus or Bird’s Nest Fern is a fern with elegant apple green colored fronds.

It owes its name to the fact that its fronds grow in a circle and form like a nest in the center.

Easy to grow, it will keep for years if it is placed in a bright spot and the soil is kept moist.

This is one of 700 species of Asplenium, many of which are so similar they are difficult to distinguish. So Asplenium nidus rather designates a species complex that includes a group of very similar species.

Description:

Asplenium nidus is an epiphytic fern in its natural habitat.

Its fronds are large, whole, with waivy edges and measure 50-150 cm long and 10-20 cm wide. Though in culture the fronds rarely exceed 50 cm in length. They are a bright apple green with a black midrib.

The underside of leaves often wear sori, ie clusters of sporangia, in straight, black lines from the rib to the edge of the frond.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Bird’s Nest Fern, Nest Fern,

Synonyms:

Asplenium antiquum, Asplenium australasicum, Asplenium ficifolium, Neottopteris mauritiana, Neottopteris musaefolia, Neottopteris nidus, Neottopteris rigida, Thamnopteris nidus

Etymologie:

Asplenium: from the Greek asplènon (spleenwort)
Nidus: from the Latin nidus (nest)

Asplenium nidus

Asplenium nidus

Origin:

Australia, Asia and Africa

Habitat:

Rainforest where it usually grows as an epiphyt on trees, up to 60 m above the ground, sometimes terrestrial or lithophyt.



Hardiness:

USDA zone 10-11

Care:

Substrate:

Commercial potting soil

Light:

Light, partial shade, no direct sun

Water:

Keep the soil moist without standing water in the bottom of the pot

Asplenium nidus sporangia

Asplenium nidus sporangia

Fertilizer:

Universal liquid fertilizer, monthly during growth period, nothing in winter

Temperature:

18-30 °C, minimum 10 °C

Repotting:

Repot every two years in spring, using a pot only 1 size larger. The plant is an epiphyt that grows in pockets of humus and does not need a large pot but for larger specimens, too small a pot can tip the plant.

Propagation:

The only method of propagation is by sowing the spores, which is quite difficult to achieve.

Image sources

  • Asplenium nidus: Own work
  • Asplenium nidus: Own work
  • Asplenium nidus sporangia: Own work

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