This species is recognised by some authorities as Polypodium aureum[
Chrysopteris aurea (L.) Link
Pleopeltis aurea (L.) C.Presl
Polypodium aureum L.
Common Name: Golden Polypody
Plant growing in the foreground and various other places on the woodland floor
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Golden polypody is an epiphytic, or occasionally terrestrial, fern with fronds growing 30 - 120cm long from a creeping rhizome about 2cm thick[
The plant is sometimes collected from the wild for local medicinal use. It is sometimes cultivated in Honduras, and semi-cultivated in Mexico for medicinal purposes[
]. The rhizomes are sold in local markets in Mexico, where it is known as 'Calaguala'[
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[
S. America - Paraguay and Brazil, north through Central America to Mexico and through the Caribbean to Florida.
Terrestrial, especially among rocks, or epiphytic, at elevations of 900 - 2,600 metres in Peru[
]. In open forests, on tree trunks, or occasionally in soil or on mossy rocks, at elevations of 1,200 - 2,200 metres in Guatemala[
|Cultivated, Semi-cultivated, Wild
The rhizome is said to be febrifuge and sudorific[
]. A decoction is reputed to be a remedy for coughs and for kidney ailments[
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