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Acrostichum aureum

Acrostichum aureum, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Tracheophyta
Divisio: Pteridophyta
Classis: Polypodiopsida
Ordo: Polypodiales

Familia: Pteridaceae
Subfamilia: Parkerioideae
Genus: Acrostichum
Species: Acrostichum aureum

Acrostichum aureum L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1069 (1753).


Chrysodium aureum (L.) Mett., Fil. Hort. Bot. Lips. 21 (1856).
Asplenium arifolium Burm.f., Fl. Ind. 231 (1768).
Hemionitis arifolia (Burm.f.) T.Moore, Index Fil. 114 (1859).
Gymnogramma arifolia (Burm.f.) Kuhn, Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugd.-Bat. 4: 283 (1869).
Parahemionitis arifolia (Burm.f.) Panigrahi, Abstr. & Souv. Nation. Symp. Curr. Trends Pterid. 4-6 October 1991 13 (1991), comb. inval.
Parahemionitis arifolia (Burm.f.) Panigrahi, Indian Fern J. 9(1-2): 244 (1993) [1992 publ. 1993].
Parahemionitis arifolia (Burm.f.) Panigrahi, Amer. Fern J. 83(3): 90 (1993), comb. illeg.
Chrysodium cayennense Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 100, t. 59 (1845).
Acrostichum cayennense C.Presl, Abh. Königl. Böhm. Ges. Wiss. 5(6) (Epimel. Bot.): 181 (1851).
Acrostichum crassifolium Wall. ex C.Presl, Tent. Pterid. 241 (1836).
Polystichum dissimulans Maxon, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 13, 31, t. 4 A (1909).
Aspidium emarginatum Willd., Sp. Pl., ed. 4 5: 235 (1810).
Acrostichum emarginatum Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb., Calcutta J. Nat. Hist. 4: 480, t. 27 (1844).
Polystichum emarginatum (Willd.) T.Moore, Index Fil. 91 (1858).
Chrysodium fasciculatum E.Fourn., Ann. Sci. Nat., Bot. sér. 5 18: 272 (1873).
Acrostichum fasciculatum (E.Fourn.) C.Chr., Index Fil. 9 (1905).
Acrostichum formosum C.Presl, Delic. Prag. 1: 160 (1822).
Acrostichum guineense Gand., Bull. Soc. Bot. France 66: 305 (1919).
Chrysodium hirsutum Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 99, t. 62, f. 2 (1845).
Acrostichum aureum var. hirsutum (Fée) T.Moore, Index Fil. 6 (1857).
Acrostichum inaequale Willd., Sp. Pl., ed. 4, 6: 117 (1810).
Chrysodium inaequale (Willd.) Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 100 (1845).
Acrostichum juglandifolium Kaulf., Enum. Filic. 65 (1824).
Acrostichum marginatum Schkuhr, Kr. Gew. 1: 185, t. 3 b (1809).
Acrostichum aureum var. marginatum (Schkuhr) T.Moore, Index Fil. 6 (1857).
Acrostichum obliquum Blume, Enum. Pl. Javae 101 (1828).
Acrostichum rigens C.Presl, Abh. Königl. Böhm. Ges. Wiss. 5(6) (Epimel. Bot.): 180 (1851).
Chrysodium scalpturatum Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 100, t. 61 (1845).
Acrostichum scalpturatum C.Presl, Abh. Königl. Böhm. Ges. Wiss. 5(6) (Epimel. Bot.): 181 (1851).
Chrysodium speciosum Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 101 (1845)..
Acrostichum spectabile Zoll., Syst. Verz. 33 (1854).
Chrysodium urvillei Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 100, t. 60 (1845).
Acrostichum urvillei C.Presl, Abh. Königl. Böhm. Ges. Wiss. 5(6) (Epimel. Bot.): 181 (1851).
Acrostichum aureum var. urvillei (C.Presl) T.Moore, Index Filic. 3 (1857).
Chrysodium vulgare Fée, Mém. Foug., 2. Hist. Acrostich.: 97 (1845)..
Acrostichum wightianum C.Presl, Tent. Pterid. 241 (1836).


Acrostichum aureum Cav. = Asplenium aureum Cav.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Africa
Regional: West Tropical Africa
Benin, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone.
Regional: West-Central Tropical Africa
Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Islands (Annobón, Bioko, Príncipe, São Tomé).
Regional: East Tropical Africa
Regional: South Tropical Africa
Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Regional: Southern Africa
Cape Provinces (Eastern Cape), KwaZulu-Natal.
Regional: Western Indian Ocean
Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique Channel Islands, Madagascar, Réunion.
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: China
China South-Central (Yunnan), Hainan, China Southeast (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong).
Regional: Eastern Asia
Nansei-shoto, Taiwan
Continental: Asia-Tropical
Regional: Indian Subcontinent
Bangladesh, India (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal), Sri Lanka.
Regional: Indo-China
Andaman Islands, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Vietnam.
Regional: Malesia
Lesser Sunda Islands, Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore), Philippines, Sulawesi.
Regional: Papuasia
Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea (Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea), Solomon Islands (North Solomons, South Solomons).
Continental: Australasia
Regional: Australia
Northern Territory, Queensland.
Continental: Pacific
Regional: Southwestern Pacific
Fiji, Niue, New Caledonia, Samoa (American Samoa, Western Samoa), Tonga, Wallis-Futuna Islands.
Regional: South-Central Pacific
Society Islands, Tubuai Islands.
Regional: Northwestern Pacific
Caroline Islands (Micronesia Federated States, Palau), Marianas (Guam, Northern Marianas).
Continental: Northern America
Regional: Southeastern U.S.A.
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Gulf (Veracruz), Mexico Northeast (Tamaulipas), Mexico Southeast (Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Yucatán), Mexico Southwest (Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca).
Continental: Southern America
Regional: Central America
Belize, Costa Rica, Central American Pacific Islands (Cocos Island), El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama.
Regional: Caribbean
Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Islands (Guadeloupe, Virgin Islands), Puerto Rico, Turks-Caicos Islands, Trinidad-Tobago, Windward Islands (Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia).
Regional: Northern South America
French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela.
Regional: Western South America
Colombia, Ecuador, Galápagos, Peru.
Regional: Brazil
Brazil Northeast (Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco), Brazil South (Santa Catarina), Brazil Southeast (Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo).

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 1069. Reference page.

Additional references

Dong, S.Y. & Funston, A.M. 2013. Acrostichum. Pp. 179–180 in Wu, Zh.Y. , Raven, P.H. & Hong, D.Y. (eds.), Flora of China. Volume 2–3: Lycopodiaceae through Polypodiaceae. Science Press, Beijing & Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, ISBN 978-1-935641-11-7. efloras PDFReference page.


Hassler, M. 2021. World Ferns. Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World. . Acrostichum aureum Accessed: 17 Feb 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Acrostichum aureum. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Feb 17. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Acrostichum aureum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Feb 17. Reference page. 2021. Acrostichum aureum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 17 Feb 2021.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Acrostichum aureum. Published online. Accessed: 17 Feb 2021.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Acrostichum aureum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 08-Apr-12.

Acrostichum aureum, the golden leather fern, is a large species of fern that grows in mangrove swamps and other wet locations. Other common names include swamp fern and mangrove fern.


The golden leather fern has large fronds growing to a length of 1.8 metres (six feet). The leaves are glossy, broad and pinnate, the pinnae being dark green, leathery, alternate and widely spaced. The outer fronds arch over sideways but the central ones are nearly straight. Some of the larger fronds bear sporangia (reproductive organs) on the upper five to eight pairs of pinnae. These are brick red and give the pinnae a felted appearance.[2]
Distribution and habitat

The golden leather fern is found in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world. It grows in swamps and mangrove forests, salt marshes and on river banks and is tolerant of raised salinity levels. The spores germinate better, however, in fresh water. It tends to grow on slight elevations in the mangrove swamp in areas which are inundated by the sea occasionally. It can also grow in freshwater locations. In Malaysia there are two plant forms. The larger ones occur on the periphery of the swamp where they may reach 4 metres (13 ft) while much more stunted plants grow in the areas which are frequently inundated. It can grow in full sun or in deep shade and it has been found that the mangrove Rhizophora mucronata can regenerate in dense stands of the fern.[2]

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the golden leather fern as being of "Least Concern"" because it is common, is fast growing, regenerates easily and has few threats. It grows vigorously in disturbed areas of mangrove forest and may be difficult to eradicate.[1]

In Cambodia, where the fern is known as prâng' tük (prâng'="cycad", tük="aquatic", Khmer language), the young leaves are eaten in salads.[3]

In the Indian state of Goa the fern is consumed cooked in a spicy coconut based gravy known as tonak. It is considered a delicacy by the local people.[citation needed]

Golden leather fern can be grown under high light in garden soil or potting mix, if the substrate is kept constantly wet. Ordinary fresh water (not brackish water) is sufficient for cultivation.[4]

Ellison, J.; Koedam, N.E.; Wang, Y.; Primavera, J.; Jin Eong, O.; Wan-Hong Yong, J.; Ngoc Nam, V. (2010). "Acrostichum aureum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T177110A7366131. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-2.RLTS.T177110A7366131.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
Hill, K. (2006). "Acrostichum aureum: Golden leather fern". Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
Pauline Dy Phon (2000). Plants Utilised In Cambodia/Plantes utilisees au Cambodge. Phnom Penh: Imprimerie Olympic. p. 406.
Hoshizaki, Barbara Joe; Moran, Robbin C. (2001). Fern Grower's Manual. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 156. ISBN 9780881924954.

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