All About Bird's-nest fern Asplenium Nidus

What is Bird's-nest fern Asplenium Nidus?

Asplenium Nidus may also be referred to as bird’s nest fern or simply as nest fern. The plant gets its name from the fact that the center resembles a bird’s nest. It is also occasionally referred to as the crow’s nest fern.

The birds nest ferns are a slow-growing type of fern of the spleenwort family whose name refers to the historical belief that these plants had medicinal value for the spleen. These indoor plants are native to tropical southeastern Asia, eastern Australia, Hawaii, Polynesia, India, Christmas Island, and eastern Africa.

The Asplenium nidus is an epiphytic species that features large, simple, entire, strap-shaped, glossy, bright green fronds with contrasting dark brown to black midribs, and wavy margins. Epiphytic means that they grow on the surface of other plants. The plant’s dramatic foliage is similar in appearance to banana leaves. This evergreen perennial is mostly found in soils or on tree branches.

Bird’s nest ferns varieties

There are different types of bird’s nest ferns that you can find in Hong Kong. Most of them form a series of erect, spoon-shaped fronds that rise from a central rosette.

Bird’s nest ferns have a moderate growth rate and are best planted in spring although they can be started all year-round indoors. When mature, they measure 3-5 ft tall and 2-3 ft wide. Healthy plants can have fronds that are as long as 5ft but if grown as houseplants, their fronds can only grow up to 2ft long.

For you to differentiate between the different varieties, all you need to do is look at the different leaf shapes. Here are the bird’s nest fern varieties:

  1. Asplenium nidus ‘Crispy Wave’

The leaves are ruffled and sword-shaped

  1. Asplenium nidus ‘Osaka’

The leaves are narrow, strap-like, and with rippled edges

  1. Asplenium nidus ‘Antiquum’

The leaves’ margins are wavy

  1. Asplenium nidus ‘Victoria’

The fronds are long, wavy, and tongue-shaped