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Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum Asplenium antiquum

Asplenium antiquum

Asplenium antiquum

("asp-LEE-nee-um ant-ICK-yoo-um")

Pet Friendly

Asplenium antiquum, also known as Bird's Nest Fern, closely resembles Asplenium nidus. This low-maintenance pet-friendly houseplant can be distinguished by having fronds that have more parallel edges and a green, or occasionally reddish, midrib, rather than the pronounced black in asplenium nidus. 

The plant fronds on a Bird's Nest Fern tend to be of a uniform width. The glossy, simple fronds of Asplenium antiquum are arranged in an upward-spreading rosette. Each frond is bright green with a pronounced prominent midrib.  Bird's Nest Fern leaves have a thin, leathery texture and often undulate.  New fronds unfurl from a brown, spongy, nest-like crown and may grow up to 60 centimetres in length.  Mature fronds may produce rusty-brown spore cases, arranged on the underside in a herringbone pattern.  These should not be confused for pests or diseases, so do not attempt to remove them. Variegated forms exist, as does the variety "Leslie" which has fronds that divide at the tips, which gives a ruffled appearance.

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Additional Information

Pets & Children

Non-toxic (some species of Asplenium are actually used for medicinal purposes).


40-50cm. Can grow up to 90cm.

foli8 Coir Pot Size - read here


Country of Origin

South-eastern China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Habitat Conditions

Asplenium antiquum is an epiphyte (and sometimes a lithophyte), this means that it lives on the branches of trees, in rock crevices and on cliffs.  Its natural habitat is in the forests of the wet tropics, so water is plentiful.  However, being an epiphyte, the plant does not "root" into soil (ferns don't have roots, as such, but have structures called rhizoids that help anchor them and absorb some moisture).

Plant Care


Medium-low - medium. Avoid direct sunlight.


The growing medium should be kept moist at all times, especially during growth and while the plant is becoming established.  Under-watering may lead to brown, crisp leaf edges.


Ferns cannot be pruned.  Dead fronds can be removed with a sharp knife close to the base of the plant.


Occasional addition of dilute fertilizer to the water when you water the plant - not every time.

Pest & Diseases

Scale insects are occasional pests - if seen, scrape them off with a fingernail or wooden lolly stick.  Don't confuse the rust-coloured spore cases on the undersides of the fronds as pests.

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