Phlebodium aureum

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Golden Polypody Fern


Also known as Polypodium aureum

Plant Specifics

Size:2 ft tall by 2 ft wide, spreads slowly by rhisomes
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:
Phenology:Evergreen fern reproducing by spores.
Noted for:Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Typically epiphytic (on trees). Interesting grown in the boots (old leaf bases) of cabbage palm. Can also be grown in soil or on rock as part of a shade or fern garden.
Propagation:Can be grown from spores.
Availability:Friends, FNPS plant sales
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Somewhat moist, no flooding ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Some tolerance to salty wind but not direct salt spray.
Soil or other substrate:Epiphytic (growing on trees), Humus (organic, upland)
Soil pH:


Native Habitats:Hammocks. Epiphytic on cabbage palm. Occasionally in humus at ground level.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 10B 11 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

This is a native that makes Florida look tropical.

Herbarium specimens from Leon County say that the fern was likely brought in.  Otherwise, the northern locations appear to be coastal, and likely that should be considered when considering this species.  The entire peninsula appears to be appropriate habitat.