Doryopteris pilosa

Antenna fern

Doryopteris pilosa

Antenna fern

  • Also labeled "Hemionitis palmata" in trade
  • Two different leaf types
  • Suitable for tropical and subtropical terrariums
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The Antenna fern, a remarkable small tropical fern, is usually mislabelled in the trade: as Hemionitis palmata and Doryopteris cordifolia, both names for other species, and Doryopteris cordata, an invalid name that is used in horticulture. Doryopteris pilosa, more recently also Hemionitis pilosa, is native to forests of Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion, but has also been found in north-eastern South Africa. It grows in shady places, e.g. on slopes, in stony-sandy soil, in the shelter of rocks. It is a fern with dimorphic (bipinnate) leaves: the spore-less (sterile) fronds are small, short-stalked and round-lobed, forming a flat spreading cushion on the ground. The spore-bearing (fertile) fronds, on the other hand, are divided into narrow pinnae and stick out about 20-30 cm high on long stems like antennae.

Doryopteris pilosa grows in well-drained soil that should neither dry out completely nor become waterlogged. When it has grown in well, it can be supplied with a houseplant fertiliser. A bright but not sunny spot is ideal. The temperature is best above 20 °C and should not fall below 14 °C.

With its small, roundly lobed, sterile leaves with hairs on the edges, the Antenna fern does not look typically fern-like at first and forms a pretty low accent on the terrarium floor, between mosses, wood or stones or on back walls. Under good growing conditions, it later amazes with its completely different looking spore fronds. Doryopteris pilosa is particularly suitable for rainforest terrariums.


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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