Davallia bullata

Squirrel's-foot fern

Davallia bullata

Squirrel's-foot fern

  • Filigree epiphytic fern
  • Conspicuous furry rhizomes
  • Suitable for tropical and subtropical terrariums
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The Squirrel's-foot fern is one of the most beautiful epiphytic ferns. Whether the name Davallia bullata holds is not guaranteed; possibly the fern belongs to Davallia trichomanoides. In subtropical and tropical Asia, various Davallia species grow as epiphytes on trees or as epiliths on damp rocks. Most conspicuous are their creeping, climbing to hanging, long, branched rhizomes with a dense pelt of long, whitish to light brown scales. Over time, these rhizomes form a dense tangle. They attach themselves to the rootstock with dark brown roots. The fronds are filigree pinnate. The Squirrel's-foot fern grows about 20 - 30 cm high.

Davallias are primarily used as plants attached to wood or stone or in epiphyte baskets. However, they also grow as ground plants, only then their rootstocks are less prominent. Even as an epiphyte or epilith, the squirrel's-foot fern should be planted on a humus-rich, well-drained substrate that is kept slightly moist. Higher humidity above 60 % and occasional spraying with soft water at high temperatures are recommended. An orchid and Tillandsia fertiliser can be added with every second watering. A bright place without direct sun is ideal. Cool overwintering at about 10 - 15 °C is possible. Propagation is done by 5-7 cm long rhizome end pieces with 1 - 2 leaves, which are attached to growing soil.

Davallia bullata has its own exotic appeal as a perching plant with its tangle of furry rhizomes and finely feathered fronds. It is particularly suitable for rainforest terrariums, also for subtropical humid forest terrariums with cooler winter temperatures. Not only branches and trunks, but also rocks and back walls can be planted effectively with the rabbit's foot fern.


Our terrarium plants give every terrarium an individual, natural atmosphere and at the same time provide a healthy environment for all terrarium inhabitants. Our wide range of tropical, subtropical and even arid plants are easy to combine and enhance any terrascape. Whether it's strong succulents, subtle tillandsias, eye-catching neoregelias or wonderful orchids - we offer terrarium plants for different terrascapes from rainforest to desert.

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