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Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern Golden Serpent Fern

Golden Serpent Fern

Phlebodium aureum

("fleb-OH-dee-um OR-ree-um")

Pet Friendly
Phlebodium aureum, or Golden Serpent Fern, is an epiphyte and also occasionally a terrestrial fern with deeply lobed fronds that range in colour from bright green to almost blue, and which can grow up to 1.3 m in length. It produces small, smooth brown spore cases (called sori) on the undersides of the fronds, which may be mistaken for scale insects - do not try to remove them.

One of its distinguishing features is its rhizomes. These are creeping stems structures, up to 1.5cm thick (occasionally thicker) that grow along the surface of the ground or host tree, that have prominent golden scales - hence common names such as golden serpent fern and gold-foot fern.

In humid areas with plenty of rainfall, it is an evergreen, but where it grows in places with a dry season, it will become deciduous. When grown as a houseplant, it is best to keep it well watered unless you don't mind it shedding its foliage every now and again. All our potted plants come in compostable coir pots - read more here.

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Additional Information

Pets & Children

Non-toxic (some species of Phlebodium are used as a source of medicines)



foli8 Coir Pot Size - read here


Country of Origin

Native to the Eastern half of South America, South-eastern USA and the Caribbean, although it has been introduced and naturalized in Southern Africa, India and North-eastern Australia

Habitat Conditions

This is a plant from the cloud forests and rain forests of the Caribbean and Eastern South America, and also the swamps of Florida and Alabama. It can tolerate quite low temperatures (down to 10C), but must have a humid environment and moist soil to prevent defoliation.

Plant Care


Medium - high


Keep soil moist at all times and mist with tepid water. This plant will do well on bathroom windowsills


Do not prune, but remove dead fronds by cutting back to the base with a sharp knife or secateurs


A little dilute fertilizer should be added to the water every time you water the plant

Pest & Diseases

Mealybugs or scale insects may occasionally be found. Two-spotted spider mites might also attack the plant if the atmosphere is too dry.

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