Allantodia squamigera (Mett.) Ching
Asplenium squamigerum Mett.
Athyrium squamigerum (Mett.) Ohwi
Diplazium squamigerum is an evergreen fern growing up to 80cm tall from a creeping or ascending to erect rhizome. The plant can form clusters of fronds, but can also produce individual fronds at some distance from the cluster[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, northern India.
Woods in mountains[
]. Broad-leaved forests, high mountain coniferous forests; at elevations from 800 - 3,000 metres[
Diplazium squamigerum has a wide range in China, where it grows in hardiness zones 6 - 9.
An easily grown plant, it is calcifuge and prefers an acid soil with a pH from 4.5 to 6.5, but it tolerates alkaline soils if plenty of leaf mould is added[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist sheltered site with moderately high atmospheric humidity[
]. Succeeds in a semi-shaded bog-garden or in damp woodland, also in garden borders in full or part shade[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
Very young fronds (croziers) - boiled[
]. Some caution is advised. See the notes above on toxicity.
Spores - surface sow in a pot of sterile compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist, this is most easily done by putting the pot in a plastic bag. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and keep them moist until they are established. Plant out in late spring of the following year.
Division in spring as plants come into growth. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.