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Useful Tropical Plants

Drynaria rigidula

(Sw.) Bedd.

Polypodiaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Basket Fern

Drynaria rigidula
This species is very adaptable, with a number of growth habits. It grows on trees in rainforest and tall open forest, on rocks, as here, in more open areas
Photograph by: Tatiana Gerus
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Drynaria rigidula Drynaria rigidula Drynaria rigidula

General Information

Basket fern is a robust, epiphytic fern with a long, creeping rhizome, growing up to 1.5 metres tall. It produces two types of annual frond - short, sterile ones up to 35cm tall that remain on the plant for several years and have a main purpose of trapping organic material to provide nutrient for the plant, and taller fertile shoots that produce spores[
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 young fronds are sometimes gathered from the wild for local consumption, whilst the root has medicinal uses.

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.

Range

E. Asia - southern China, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indo-China, Philippines to Australia and the Pacific

Habitat

An epiphyte, found growing on tree trunks, rocks and cliff faces in tropical forests and scrub[
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.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *
HabitDeciduous Fern
Height1.50 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of moist tropical areas with a distinct dry season, though it can also thrive where there is no dry season[
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

Young fronds[
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.
].

Medicinal

Astringent. It is used locally to treat persistent diarrhoea and virulent gonorrhoea[
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.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Spores -
Division of the rootstock. Larger divisions with shoots establish best, but even smaller sections without shoots are able to produce adventitious shoots[
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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