Acropteris radiata (Sw.) Link
Acrostichum radiatum Poir.
Actiniopteris australis radiata (Sw.) C.Chr.
Asplenium polydactylon Webb
Asplenium radiatum Sw.
Pteris radiata (Sw.) Bojer
Actiniopteris radiata is a small fern growing 10 - 15cm tall from a short, creeping rhizome. The fronds have fan-shaped leaves[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local medicinal use. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
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[
Scattered through tropical Africa from Mali to Somalia, south to S. Africa; E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka.
Epilithic or epiphytic, growing in sunny or lightly shaded conditions in rock crevices, at boulder bases, in shallow soil pockets overlaying sheet rock, and among low scrub, in seasonally moist conditions[
]. At elevations of 230 - 1,000 metres[
A plant of drier areas in the tropics.
Thrives at higher light levels and lower humidity than most ferns, preferring bright, filtered sunlight[
The fronds shrivel and appear to be dead during times of drought, but rehydrate when the rains return[
The plant is said to be anthelmintic, alterative and astringent. It is used in the treatment of prolonged malarial fevers and to arrest haemorrhages[
Spores - they breed true to type, but great care should be taken with young sporophytes since these are slow to establish[
Division of offsets, though these are rarely produced[
]. The divisions must be kept in close and shady conditions until they are established[
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