Hawaiian Name(s): pala‘ā

Scientific Name: Sphenomeris chinensis

Vernacular Name: lace fern

Family: Lindsaeaceae

Status: indigenous

Authority: L.

Description: Fern.

Habitat S. chinensis tolerates a wide variety of environments, from exposed road cuts to closed, wet forests from 0–1220 m (Valiers 1995:56–57). Soil should be well-drained and moist; medium to high light (Hoshizaki & Moran 2002:400).

Medicines: For stomach disorders and lepo pa‘a (constipation) the pala‘ā is made into tea and mixed with ko‘oko‘olau (Bidens spp.) and other ingedients (Chun 1998:47).

Non Medicinal Uses: Fronds twined together with maile as an offering to the gods (Valier 1995:5) and a red dye is obtained from the old fronds (Krauss 1993:67).

Specific gravity of wood: n/a

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts: Red-brownish (old leaves)

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Grown in tissue culture from the spores; once in pot water well & fertilize moderately; thrives in ground with rich brown or red dirt soil; liquid fertilizer (fish emulsion) is good; can grow in full sun/shade as long as it is well watered/moist (Bornhorst 1996:71–72). Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database