Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)

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Java Fern

Microsorum pteropus1.jpg
Java Fern

Microsorum pteropus



6 - 8

17 -30 °C (62.6-86°F)

Max Height

76.2cm (30 ")

Max Width

20 cm (7.9")

Alternative names[edit]

Java Fern


Polypodium pteropus

Environment Specifics[edit]

Plant prefers not to be buried in the substrate. You wrap this plant's rhizome around a stone or ornament with cotton thread and by the time the cotton dissolves the roots of this plant will have attached itself to the object. It is also a semi-aquatic emergent marsh plant and can cope in brackish water. It dislikes high levels of light (leaves go transparent).
Very popular, cheap and common plant. Perhaps the most popular.
Plant propagates by growing new plants at the tip of its older leaves. These tips turn black and eventually the Plantlet drops off to drift until its roots attach themselves to something.
Most fish will not eat this plant, it has a bitter taste.
When grown with its leaves out of the water, it makes a good water nutrient absorber.


Several varieties of this species have been cultivated. They are:
  • Microsorum pteropus Windeløv (Java Lace Fern or Lace Java Fern) See Tropica
  • Microsorum pteropus Red. (Red Java Fern) - Withdrawn by Tropica in 2007 as colour only appeared under emergent conditions.
  • Microsorum pteropus Philippine. (Philippine Java Fern)
  • Microsorum pteropus Tropica.
  • Microsorum pteropus Narrow. (Narrow Leaf Java Fern) See Tropica
  • Microsorum pteropus Undulata.


External links[edit]