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Golden polypody
Phlebodium aureum

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

General Landscape Uses: Accent epiphyte.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Epiphytic fern with erect or arching leaves spreading from a creeping stem (rhizome) that is densely covered with golden-colored hair-like scales.

Dimensions: Fronds 2-3 feet in length. Plants spread and form small patches.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southern Georgia and Alabama south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. Rare in the Monroe County Keys and very rare or absent in the middle Keys.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Moist forests and swamps.

Soils: Epiphytic; or terrestrial in moist, well-drained humusy leaf litter, acid to neutral pH.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow on nutrient poor substrate, but needs some nutrient inputs to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; requires moist substrate and high humidity to thrive.

Light Requirements: Light shade to moderate shade or full sun.

Flower Color: N/A.

Flower Characteristics: There are no flowers; the plants reproduce by spores.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Inconspicuous spores.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from spores.

References: A Gardner's Guide to Florida's Native Plants

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Joe Montes de Oca via iNaturalist.

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist.

Other data on Phlebodium aureum available from:

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