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. 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.
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Advanced Search. Acrostichum aureum , the golden leather fern, is a large understory fern that occurs in mangrove forests and other wetlands. Plants measure approximately 1. Fronds are usually arching around the periphery of the plant, but tend to be more erect near the center.
The thick, leathery leaves are compound and large, measuring over 1m 3. There are 24 - 30 pairs of alternate leaflets pinnae that are non-overlapping, rounded at the tips, and measure approximately 10 - 34 cm 3. Leaves are shiny and typically dark green above, but paler on the leaf underside. Leaf margins are somewhat uneven and wavy in appearance. No sori are present as in other ferns.
Rather, sporangia are distributed over the entire underside of reproductive pinnae the most distal 5 or more pairs , lending a felt-like texture to these leaves. A related species, the giant leather fern, Acrostichum danaefolium , is similar in appearance, but grows larger, with fronds generally 2m 6.
A more definitive characteristic is the presence of reproductive pinnae on fronds. Acrostichum aureum occurs in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. In the continental United States, it is restricted to wetland areas in south and southwestern Florida. Not present in most IRL Counties. It is present but not common in Martin county. Leaves measure approximately 1m 3. Pinnae measure approximately 10 - 34 cm 3. The growth rate is moderate Medina et al.
Though Acrostichum aureum is abundant in some areas of the World, in the Continental U. Unlike other fern species, Acrostichum species do not form sori on their reproductive leaves. Rather, sporangia are distributed over the entire abaxal surface of reproductive pinnae, lending them a felt-like texture. Additionally, not all pinnae on a frond are reproductive.
This feature helps distinguish A. Spore germination in the golden leather fern tends to be higher in non-saline substrates Lloyd and Buckley Acrostichum aureum is halophytic, but generally requires fresh water for it to become established and grow optimally. It does not grow in areas where soil salinity exceeds 50 ppt, nor does it grow on arid coastlines Medina Salinity is the primary environmental stressor and regulator of plant development in mangrove forests Medina et al.
High salinity levels induce changes in plant height, leaf size, and the osmotic pressure of leaf cell sap. Several authors Tomlinson ; Walter reported that A. In Malaysia, 2 growth forms are recognized. A large form grows to 4m The other form is stunted, growing less than 1m 3. The golden leather fern grows well in nearly all light conditions, from full sun to dense shade Medina et al. Maximum rates of productivity, development, and reproductive capacity are observed under full sun exposure; however, Acrostichum aureum is highly shade-tolerant and takes advantage of decreased evaporative rates in shade to reduce salt stress in estuarine environments Medina et al.
Golden leather ferns inhabit neotropical mangrove swamps, salt marshes, low hammocks, and canal margins. In many parts of the World, they have been considered a vegetative pest that interferes with growth and regeneration of mangrove trees Medina et al.
However, Chan et al. The 3 species of Acrostichum all grow in loose association with mangrove vegetation in the tropics Tomlinson The golden leather fern is listed as an Threatened species in Florida.
It is not listed at the Federal level. Adams, D. Acrostichum in Florida. American Fern Journal 69 2 : Chan, H. Husin, and P. Is there a need to eradicate Acrostichum speciosum prior to planting Rhizophora mucronate in logged over mangrove forest area? FRIM Occasional paper. Flora of North America Editorial Committee.
Flora of North America North of Mexico. Flora of North America, Vol. Available online at www. Gleason, H. Gomez, L. Acrostichum aureum. Costa Rican Natural History. Harris, J. The physico-chemical properties of plant saps in relation to phytogeography.
Lakela, O. Ferns of Florida. Banyan Books, Inc. Miami, FL. Lloyd, R. Effects of salinity on gametophyte growth of Acrostichum aureum and A. Fern Gazette Medina, E. Cuevas, M. Popp, and A. Soil salinity, sun exposure, and growth of Acrostichum aureum , the mangrove fern. Botanical Gazette 1 Mehltreter, K. Journal of Tropical Ecology. Small, J. Hafner Publishing Co. New York, NY. Tryon, R. Waisel, Y.
The Botany of Mangroves. Cambridge Tropical Biology Series. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Wunderlin, R. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central Florida.
Report by: K. Acrostichum aureum frond in mangrove forest. Photo courtesy NOAA. Potentially Misidentified Species A related species, the giant leather fern, Acrostichum danaefolium , is similar in appearance, but grows larger, with fronds generally 2m 6. Reproduction Unlike other fern species, Acrostichum species do not form sori on their reproductive leaves. Other Physical Tolerances The golden leather fern grows well in nearly all light conditions, from full sun to dense shade Medina et al.
Associated Species The 3 species of Acrostichum all grow in loose association with mangrove vegetation in the tropics Tomlinson Species Name:.
India Biodiversity Portal
Acrostichum aureum L. If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here. If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating. Home Search Contact. Acrostichum guineense Gand. Acrostichum inaequale Willd.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mar Young fronds are red. Sterile leaves have blunt tips sometimes with a small sharp point. Pasir Ris, Sep Fertile fronds with spores.
Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory
Acrostichum aureum L. It is abundant in mangrove vegetation all over South-East Asia. In Vietnam and the Pacific, the firm, dried, parchment-like leaves are stitched together and used as thatching material in the place of straw-thatch. In this way the roof lasts longer and there is much less risk of fire. Should the roof catch fire the leaves burn rapidly and leave very little ash, thus reducing the risk of the rest of the habitation and its furniture catching fire.
Back Flora 1 5 Description and Ethnobotany Growth Form It is a mangrove fern, growing up to 3 m tall, and thrives well under full sun. The stem rhizome of this species is stout, erect, and covered with relatively large scales that are about 4 by 1. Foliage Dark green, erect fronds are composed of 24 - 30 pinnae leaflet-like structure in alternate arrangement 1 - 4 m long, 0.
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