(Burm. f.) T. Moore
Hemionitis arifolia (Burm. f.) T. Moore
Common names: Heart Fern, Tongue Fern
Asplenium arifolium, Gymnogramma arifolia, Gymnogramma sagittata, Hemionitis cordata,
Hemionitis cordifolia, Hemionitis sagittata, Hemionitis toxotis
Identified to science in
1859, Hemionitis arifolia is an attractive and unusual
dwarf fern primarily from Laos, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and possibly China, Taiwan and other
nations in tropical Southeast Asia. The fern is
both an epiphyte (ep-a-FIT) and grows on trees as well as a terrestrial plant.
In our magnified photograph you can observe this attractive fern has dark green cordate (heart shaped) fronds which grow on blackish stems with fronds that reach 5 to 7.5cm (2" to 3") in length. The small dainty shade loving fern grows well in low light with high humidity. Hemionitis arifolia also grows well as a terrarium plant or in a very shady area in an atrium. The leathery heart-shaped fronds feature tall fertile frond leaves that spread above the fern's foliage. Hemionitis arifolia is hardy in Zone 10 or higher and It can be grown in the lower portions of Florida outdoors. Otherwise it must be grown indoors in a terrarium or in a greenhouse. The fern reaches 15 to 20cm (6" to 8") in height. This plant has numerous synonyms (same plant, other names) so you may find it available under a variety of names.