Phymatosorus scolopendria (Burm. f.) Pic. Serm.

Etymology Genus Swelling spore case
Species Centipede-like, probably referring to the pinnately lobed fronds resembling the bug
Family Polypodiaceae
Synonyms Phymatodes scolopendria (Burm. f.) Ching, Polypodium scolopendrium Burm. f.
Common Names Monarch Fern, Paku wangi, Sakat hitam
Status Native: Common
Form Epiphyte
Native Distribution Tropical Africa, Ceylon, Indochina, south China, Malaysia to Polynesia, and Australia


The epiphytic fern is distinguishable because its fronds always appear in various forms, from a simple one to varying degrees of pinnately lobed margins, normally up to four pairs (sometimes more, but rarely).

Interesting Facts:

This is a fairly common species of epiphyte on mature urban trees. Besides trees, Holttum (1954) also described them growing on rocks and on the ground in open areas, and being able to tolerate full sun.

Varying forms of Phymatosorus scolopendria.

Underside of the fertile frond, showing the sori.

A sterile frond with two pairs of lobes.

Sterile fronds with one pair of lobes.

A sterile frond with no lobes.


Holttum RE. (1954) A Revised Flora of Malaya. Volume II: Ferns of Malaya. Government Printing Office, Singapore. 643 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-01-01 / Modified: 2015-01-11