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Useful Tropical Plants

Diplazium esculentum

(Retz.) Sw.

Woodsiaceae

+ Synonyms

Anisogonium esculentum (Retz.) C.Presl

Asplenium ambiguum Sw.

Asplenium esculentum (Retz.) C.Presl

Athyrium esculentum (Retz.) Copel.

Callipteris ambigua (Sw.)T.Moore

Callipteris esculenta (Retz.) J.Sm.

Digrammaria esculenta (Retz.) Fée

Diplazium malabaricum Spreng.

Hemionitis esculenta Retz.

Microstegia esculenta (Retz.) C.Presl

Common Name: Vegetable Fern

Diplazium esculentum
Plant growing in Hawaii
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Diplazium esculentum Diplazium esculentum Diplazium esculentum Diplazium esculentum Diplazium esculentum

General Information

Vegetable fern is a terrestrial fern with a short and erect rhizome that is occasionally trunk-like or can be creeping[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. It grows about 50cm tall[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is often harvested from the wild for its edible young leaves (croziers); it is occasionally cultivated, and is sometimes sold in local markets[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
438
Title
Ferns and Man in New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
Croft. J.
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/fern/ferns-man-ng.html
Publisher
 
Year
1982
ISBN
 
Description
Based on a paper presented to Papua New Guinea Botany Society in 1982, gives a brief guide to the uses of 42 species of fern in New Guinea. Published on the internet.
]. There are relatively few edible ferns, but this species is considered to be the most important edible fern in the world[
299
Title
Protabase - Plant Resources of Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.prota.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line database with detailed information on over 3,200 species of useful plants of Africa.
]. The plant is also grown as an ornamental[
437
Title
Fern Databank, Sahah.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the ferns growing at Sabah in Indonesia. A description, habitat and plant uses are givem, often accompanied by a photo.
].

Known Hazards

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
667
Title
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Botany Vol. 2
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The British Museum; London.
Year
1955 - 1962
ISBN
0068-2292
Description
A series of articles on botany. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, through southeast Asia to Indonesia and Philippines.

Habitat

River banks, open places in wet ground, at elevations below 900 metres in Sri Lanka[
667
Title
Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Botany Vol. 2
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
The British Museum; London.
Year
1955 - 1962
ISBN
0068-2292
Description
A series of articles on botany. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Fern
Height0.50 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of the humid tropics[
611
Title
Five hundred plant species in Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, West Java
Publication
 
Author
Hari Priyadi et al
Website
http://www.cifor.cgiar.org
Publisher
Center for International Forestry Research; Indonesia.
Year
2010
ISBN
978-602-8693-22-6
Description
Brief details of the uses of 500 Indonesian plants. It is available as a PDF document to download from the internet.
].
Grows best when there is an abundance of organic matter in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

The very young leaves are eaten as lalab (a vegetable salad served with sambal) with rice[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The young fronds are boiled and used as a vegetable[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
437
Title
Fern Databank, Sahah.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the ferns growing at Sabah in Indonesia. A description, habitat and plant uses are givem, often accompanied by a photo.
].

Medicinal

A decoction of the leaves is used as a tonic for women after they have given birth[
437
Title
Fern Databank, Sahah.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.forest.sabah.gov.my
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on the ferns growing at Sabah in Indonesia. A description, habitat and plant uses are givem, often accompanied by a photo.
].

The plant is used in traditional medicine[
611
Title
Five hundred plant species in Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, West Java
Publication
 
Author
Hari Priyadi et al
Website
http://www.cifor.cgiar.org
Publisher
Center for International Forestry Research; Indonesia.
Year
2010
ISBN
978-602-8693-22-6
Description
Brief details of the uses of 500 Indonesian plants. It is available as a PDF document to download from the internet.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Spores - they germinate readily and develop quickly[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Division of plantlets that are produced at the roots[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

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