Nephrolepis cordifolia

COMMON NAME

Fishbone fern, tuberous sword fern or Kupukupu fern

TYPE

Fern

FAMILY

Polypodiaceae

NOTES

Tufts of finely-toothed sword-shaped fronds rise from short, erect, hairy leaf stems. It will grow to 2-3 feet tall. The fronds were fashioned as into lei for the wrists and ankles called kūpeʻe or as haku for the head.  It was often used to decorate hula altars symbolizing that it was a place of learning, or sprouting knowledge since the word kupu means to sprout.

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

​This indigenous fern is found throughout the tropics and is a common fern in cultivation. Here in Hawaii it is fairly common and found on all the main islands in mesic (somewhat wet) to wet forests.

NATIVE HABITAT

​​Common as a terrestrial or an epiphyte in mesic to wet forests from about 1,445 to 5,000 feet.

WEB SOURCES

http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Nephrolepis_cordifolia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephrolepis_cordifolia

https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/OF-43.pdf