Filicium decipiens (Wight & Arn.) Thwaites

Etymology Genus Fern
Species Deceptive
Family Sapindaceae
Synonyms Rhus decipiens Wight & Arn., Pteridophyllum decipiens (Wight & Arn.) Thwaites
Common Names Fern Tree
Status Exotic: Cultivated Only
Form Tree
Native Distribution India and Sri Lanka


Filicium decipiens is a common cultivated tree. It has a rounded, dense crown, with pinnate leaves that gives the foliage a feathery appearance. The diagnostic is the "wing" along the leaf stalk.

Interesting Facts:

The Fern Tree was first introduced from South India and Sri Lanka to the Botanic Gardens in 1875 (NParks, 2009). It is now a common sight among our streetscape and parks.

Form of the Fern Tree.

Branching and arrangment.

Leafy wing along the stalk.


NParks. (2009) Trees of Our Garden City: A Guide to the Common Trees of Singapore. 2nd Edition. National Parks Board, Singapore. 382 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2015-03-21 / Modified: 2017-12-25