Monarch fern

Family • Polypodiaceae - Polypodium scolopendrium Burm. f.

Scientific names

Polypodium scolopendrium Burm. f. Phymatosorus scolopendria (Burm. f.)
Polypodium phymatodes Linn. Microsorium scolopendria (Burm. f.) Copel.

Common names

Monarch fern (Engl.)

Monarch fern

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) A Review on the Potential Uses of Ferns / M Mannar Mannan, M Maridass and B Victor / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 281-285. 2008.

(2) Ecdysteroids from the medicinal fern Microsorum scolopendria (Burm. f.) / Eva Snogan, Isabelle Vahirua-Lechat et al / Phytochemical Analysis, Volume 18, Issue 5, pages 441–450, September 2007 / DOI: 10.1002/pca.1000

Monarch fern3
Monarch fern is an epiphyte, with wide, creeping and glabrescent rhizomes. Stipes are scattered, 5 to 40 cm long, and naked. Fronds are variable in size, from simple-lanceolate to deeply pinnatifid, 10 to 40 cm long. Costae are prominent but the venation is hardly visible. Sori are very large, shallowly immersed, and conspicuous on the upper surface, in single rows along the main veins, or scattered, but not numerous.

Growing in the crown or trunks of trees and on rocks along streams, at low and medium altitudes.
Commonly distributed in the Philippines.
Also found from Polynesia across Africa.

Monarch fern2

Yields glycirrhizin and saponin.

Aromatic, aperative, diaphoretic.

Monarch fern4
Parts used
Young leaves.

In Indo-China, young leaves of the fern used in chronic diarrhea.

• Repellent: Young fronds spread on bed to keep off bed bugs.

Study Findings
• Ecdysteroids: Ecdysteroids might be responsible for some of M. scolopendria’s medicinal properties. Study showed it to be an excellent source of ecdysone and 20-hydroxyecdysone, and also significant amounts of makisterones A and C, inokosterone and amarasterone A, with smaller amounts of poststerone.