Acrostichum speciosum Willd.

Etymology Genus From Greek akros (terminal) and stichos (a row)
Species Showy or spectacular
Family Pteridaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Pointed Tip Mangrove Fern, Piai Laut
Status Native: Common
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical Asia and Australia


Acrostichum speciosum is one of the two species of terrestrial mangrove ferns found here, the other being Acrostichum aureum. They look very similar, but the former generally have smaller fronds but most importantly, their sterile frond is narrowly acuminate (tapering), while the other is abruptly rounded, truncated or shortly tipped.

Interesting Facts:

The fern is said to be used as a high quality thatch (Giesen et al., 2006).

The Mangrove Fern growing on mud lobster mounds in Pasir Ris Mangroves (2020).

Sterile frond.

Tapering ends of leaflets.

Alternate branching of leaflets.


Giesen W, Wulffraat S, Zieren M &  Scholten L (2006) Mangrove guidebook for Southeast Asia. RAP Publication 2006/07. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and Wetlands International. Bangkok. 769 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2020-03-30 / Modified: 2020-04-06