Scyphularia pentaphylla (Blume) Fée

Black Caterpillar Fern

Rhizome long-creeping, scales spreading, narrowed into a bristly point, blackish. Blade divided once, the lower segments often forked. Sterile segments lanceolate to linear. Fertile segments mostly narrower than the sterile ones. Indusia facing the margin, shortly cylindrical, twice as long as wide.

Needs shelter and warmth.

New Guinea, Polynesia, Malaysia.

Fronds with few main branches.


Cultivated specimens of the Fijian Scyphularia pycnocarpa (Brack.) Copel. (Davallia pycnocarpa) are extremely similar to and doubtfully distinct from the above.

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Davalliaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Polypodiopsida
order     Polypodiales
family      Davalliaceae
genus       Scyphularia Fée