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Photo Credit: Forest and Kim Starr

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE 8
  • FAMILY Marattiaceae
  • CATEGORY Shrubs, Vines, & Others

mule's foot fern (Angiopteris evecta)

A fern native to Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Australia, and New Guinea that has established invasive populations in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Jamaica.

  • Massive terrestrial fern
  • Huge 2-pinnate fronds up to 7 x 3 m (23 x 10 ft)
  • Fronds arising from short, thick trunks
  • 2 large, fleshy appendages (stipules) at the swollen base (pulvinus) of each stipe
  • Pinna stalks with swollen bases (pulvini) and special spore-bearing structures on the undersides of the pinnules

Harm

  • Spreads easily by producing 1000s of wind-dispersed spores
  • Able to establish dense stands that displace and shade out native plants and reduce biodiversity in ecosystems