Asplenium nidus (Bird’s Nest Fern, Crow’s Nest Fern)
- Botanical Name: Asplenium nidus
- Common Name: Bird’s Nest Fern, Crow’s Nest Fern
- Family name: Aspleniaceae
- Origin: Native to tropical southeastern Asia, eastern Australia, Hawaii, Polynesia, Christmas Island, India and eastern Africa
- Plant type: A large evergreen stemless tree fern growing as a rosette with ornamental foliage.
- Light: Grows best in partial shade with dappled sunshine. However, it can tolerate full shade or full sun (gradually acclimatize it, otherwise the leaves get burnt by the sun)
- Moisture: Requires regular watering moderately and soil to be kept quite moist! Needs a very humid environment, so misting of leaves are advisable if lacking
- Soil: Best in well-drained soil mix! Recommended is a soil mix of peat moss, loam and sand.
- Propagation: By dividing the root ball or by spores.
These linear spores (sori) develop on the underside of their fronds extending from the midrib. Here’s an interesting article by Keith Rogers on fern propagation by spores.
Briefly described here too.
- Features: This evergreen fern, Asplenium nidus can grow quite large in a rosette shape, reaching almost 2 meters in diameter with fronds radiating from the base center. Their lovely bright apple-green fronds measuring 2-4 feet long and 3-8 inches wide are smooth, glossy and acuminate at both ends. Fronds are mostly crinkled and erect, but arch outwards and has a dark-brown or black midrib as it ages. These fronds rising from a crown with a central hollow will eventually resemble a nicely shaped bird’s nest, capable of catching falling debris. It has a small root system which is dense, spongy and covered with brown root hairs.
- Usage: It’ll make a wonderful centerpiece in any garden decoration, whether planted in a pot, container, hanging basket or even on ground. Excellent as an accent in any landscape or rock garden. Being an epiphyte growing on large trees in the rainforest, parks or along roadways, it can be cultivated on trees growing in one’s garden to enhance the garden view.
- Care: Quite easily maintained with minimal care! All it need is enough filtered sunshine and watering, as well as monthly fertilizing which is optional. Do give an occasional shower of their fronds to keep them healthy from dust and retain their apple green sheen! Remove old, brown and damaged leaves at base to maintain their loveliness. And watch out for slugs! Equip yourself with more plant care info, just in case your bird’s nest fern faces these physiological, bacterial and other related problems.
- For temperate regions: Check this site for additional information.
Not many gardeners, including me know how to propagate ferns from spores! Fortunately these bird’s nest fern are very popular, thus inexpensive and easily available in most garden nurseries. Hmm…maybe the nurseries pilfered them from rainforest where they grow epiphytically in abundance on huge trees like bromeliad or terrestrially on forest floors and rocks. ;)
Anyway, we’ve been most fortunate to find some bird’s nest fern sporelings (3 of them actually, the size of my palm) growing in the cracks of a large drain outside our front yard, maybe 6-7 years ago!
And of course, we gleefully added them to our garden family, joining the busy crowd of green foliage plants that we enjoy having!
Now, these Asplenium Nidus have grown remarkably into spectacular ferns, beautifying our little garden paradise! :D
Enjoy more photos of Bird’s Nest Fern, grown elsewhere:
Last edited: 2011-04-13