Adiantum philippense Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1094. 1753 (syn: Adiantum arcuatum (Poiret) Swartz; A. lunatum Cavanilles; A. lunulatum N. L. Burman; A. lunulatum var. limbatum Christ; A. lunulatum var. subjunonicum Christ; Polypodium arcuatum Poiret; Pteris lunulata (N. L. Burman) Retzius) as per FOC;
Keys as per efi thread:
1. A.lunulatum (syn. of Adiantum philippense L.)- entirely glabrous, pinnae pale green rarely dark green, pinnules are fan shape or lunar shape or in crescent form and fold down with sori (linear), stipe glabrous long and dark black 
2. A.caudatum – hairy, pinnae green ,hairs pale brown and giving a pale brownish color to whole, pinnules not crescent but almost straight  fold down with sori but length is very short compared to A.lunulatum, stipe is hairy brownish due to hair color short as compared to lamina.
   If the stipe is glabrous, A.zollingeri but no tail as in A.caudatum




Fern ID request – RK9 – 12-Oct-2012: Would love to know the name of this beautiful plant growing in a climbing habit in Karjat area.

This is a fern a pteridophyte – Adiantum lunulatum.
It is not a climber.

It is the Maidenheir fern
Adiantum lunulatum

Adiantum philippense

Yes, correct – this is Adiantum philippense, like the last one (synonym A. lunulatum) – see the recent paper by S.C. Verma and Fraser-Jenkins on this species. (Indian Fern Society Silver Jubilee Volume).
Rooting or “walking” from stolon-buds, not “climbing” as such.



Attached images are Adiantum philippense L.
Date :02.10. 2013
Location: Kamrup district(Metro)
Family : Adiantaceae
Genus & species : Adiantum philippense L.
Habitat: Grows wild on stone wall
Habit : Herb

What a lovely fern.

That’s correct, A. philippense, looks most probably subsp. philippense, though we need much more cytological work throughout India. Very common and widespread species throughout.





Adiantum lunulatum ABJUL01/15 : 3 posts by 2 authors.

I found this beautiful fern on my drive down to the lower town. It was commonly growing nearby the other Adiantum, A. incisum. I collected this at about 800m altitude but saw several specimens at above 1200m too. After taking a photo of the rhizome I replanted it near home at 1800m altitude where it would perhaps perish but I am curious to know.
Please correct me if I am misidentifying it.
Adiantum lunulatum
Near Gaggal, Dharamshala, HP
18 July, 2015.

the transplanted rhizome must get water that does not get logged in. constant trickling is the trick and some rocky pieces they seem to like the stone’s minerals and some leafy mold or forest floor gunk.

also these fronds make a nice botanical picture in its herbarium avatar, did you try it?

try some of the longest fronds you can find minus the rhizome.

Thank you … I will give it a try.

Dr Fraser-Jenkins corrects the nomenclature to Adiantum philippense ssp. philippense.




45-TSP-ID-27APR2016-1:Adiantum sp (Adiantaceae) for further ID : 8 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)

Kindly identify this Adiantum sp (Adiantaceae) 

Habit: Herb 

Habitat: Wild, terrestrial, montane forest fringe. 

Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1400 msl 

Date: 15-05-2015 

This is the most commonly found Adiantum species – Adiantum philippense subsp. philippense L. found growing throughout the Western Ghats and other places also.

This looks like Adiantum lunulatum

Adiantum lunulatum is synonym for A. philippense and the latter is used now. This was clarified by Mr Christopher Jenkins who has revised and finalized taxonomy of Asian pteridophytes

Thanks, … GRIN seems to be correct in this respect, while The Plant List ver. 1.1 is not as it treats them in reverse.

… is indeed correct – don’t forget Adiantum lunulatum is an illegitimate name and should be called A. philippense.





Kas Week : Fern : Adaintum Sp.Id pl.: This Fern : Adaintum sp. I clicked at Kaas in Sept.2011
and would appreciate Id of the same

Looks like Adiantum philippense (A lunulatum). But this has an almost entire margin. But then this species is quite variable.

Hello, that’s Adiantum philippense and has the expected morphology for subsp. philippense.




presenting few images of Adiantum sp. 

Pic 1, 2. I think it is Adiantum lunulatum? photographed at Mandi, H.P., 23-07-2018.

The first two are Adiantum philippense subsp. philippense.  I didn’t know people were still sometimes using its synonym, A. lunulatum, but that is very much outdated.  The correct name is A. philippense.  See S.C. Verma & Fraser-Jenkins’ paper on the nomenclature and the cyto-subspecies.




Fern for id- 170918SR1 : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (2)- 2 mb or more. 
At Girnar taleti, Junagadh, Gujarat

This is the well known and widespread species Adiantum philippense L (syn.: A. lunulatum Burm.f.), widespread throughout most of India. The specimens are either sterile or a bit too poor to be confident as to which subspecies they are, though probably subsp. philippense. One would need a chromosome-count though to find out for sure. 


310519AB3 ID : 6 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1) – 393 kb.

Identification, please. Very abundant in Melghat. A pteridophyte?

Date/Time- November 8, 2017; 09:44 AM

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Eastern Melghat, 

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Wild

Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-  Herb

Height/Length- Upto 1’ Height

Apart from identification, what is the native/invasive status of this species in India? 

Yes, pteridophyte.. Adiantum sp.

Thank you for the prompt reply, …. Any idea about the species and the native/invasive status?

Adiantum sp.

Adiantum lunulatum




This fern was seen by the roadside near Tamhini ghat near Pune, MH in Aug 2019.
I guess this is Adiantum philippense.

Other recipients:
I guess ID is correct ! Thank you. Saroj Kasaju
I guess ID is correct !


Adiantum philippense, probably subsp. philippense 


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