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  Acrostichum aureum L.
  Family Name : Pteridaceae

  Common Names : Leather Fern, Paku Laut, Mangrove Fern, Coarse Swamp Fern, Golden Leather Fern, Piai Raya, Larat, Piai

  Chinese Name : 卤蕨

Leather Fern,Paku Laut,Mangrove Fern,Coarse Swamp Fern,Golden Leather Fern,Piai Raya,Larat,Piai
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Shrub (Herbaceous)
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Fountain (Palm-like)
      Maximum Height :
      1 m to 3 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Old & New World Tropics
      Native Habitat :
      Aquatic (Brackish Pond / Lake / River), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Common)
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a mangrove fern, growing up to 3 m tall, and thrives well under full sun. The stem (rhizome) of this species is stout, erect, and covered with relatively large scales that are about 4 by 1.8 cm.
      Foliage: Dark green, erect fronds are composed of 24 - 30 pinnae (leaflet-like structure) in alternate arrangement (1 - 4 m long, 0.12 - 0.5 m wide). The petiole of the frond (known as the stipe) is usually about 1 m long. The 5 - 8 pairs of pinnae near the tip are fertile with their underside covered in reddish brown sporangia (except the midrib), while the remaining pinnae are infertile. The pinnae are oblong with a blunt tip (8 - 50 cm long, 1 - 7 cm wide) and bright red when immature.
      Stems: Fibrous rhizomes (underground, horizontal stems) have a scaly surface.
      Reproductive Parts (non-flowering plant): The pinnae which bear the sporangia are restricted to the upper parts of a frond at varying proportions. The sporangia and the sterile hairs (paraphyses) among them will cover the whole lower surface of the pinnae, giving it a dark brown appearance. Its spores are dispersed by wind.
      Habitat :
      It grows along the landward side mangrove forests because it is less tolerant of frequent seawater inundation. It sometimes grows near the sea in the absence of mangrove forests. It occurs locally in Pulau Ubin (including Chek Jawa), and many other coastal sites.
      Similar :
      The pinnae of Acrostichum aureum have blunt tips, while those of Acrostichum speciosum have pointed tips.
      Associated Fauna :
      Typically colonizes mud lobster mounds which are more elevated and less likely to be flooded.
      Cultivation :
      It can be propagated by spores.
      Etymology :
      Greek akros, top; Greek stichos, order, referring to the lines on the lower surface of the leaves; Latin aureum, golden yellow, referring to the golden hue of the younger leaflets
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The young leaves are consumed as a vegetable.)
      Medicinal (Fronds are shredded or crushed and applied as a poultice on wounds, boils or ulcers. In India, the fronds are used to treat snake bites.)
      [Others]: In Vietnam, the dried fronds are used as material for roofing.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It is suitable as a marsh plant for the edges of ponds or waterlogged areas.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Foliage
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Easy to Grow
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Riverine, Pond / Lake / River, Marsh / Bog
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Marsh Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Seed / Spore Dispersal :
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun, Semi-Shade
      Water Preference :
      Lots of Water
      Maintenance Requirements :
      Propagation Method :
      Spore, Division
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) :
      Foliar Type :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Lanceolate)
      Foliar Margin :
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
      Foliar Base :
      Rounded / Obtuse
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Sporophyll & Related Description :
      Sporangiophore: Reddish brown and powder-like.
  • References
    • The DNA of Singapore.
      Yong J, Tan PY, Nor Hafiz Hassan, Tan SN. 2010. A Selection of Plants for Greening of Waterways and Waterbodies in the Tropics. Singapore: Chung Printing . 480 pp.
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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