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Microsorum, Crocodile Fern, Crocodylus Fern

Microsorum musifolium

Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Microsorum (my-kroh-SOR-um) (Info)
Species: musifolium (mew-sih-FOH-lee-um) (Info)
Synonym:Polypodium musifolium



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From spores

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Corona, California

Deland, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Ocala, Florida

St John, Mississippi

Alden, New York

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 11, 2010, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Not nearly as hardy as listed. If it survives a bay area winter-and they have- The following summer is never warm enough for decent frond growth..the plant fades away. Strictly a house plant here, or outdoors only in areas of mild winters and hot humid summers.


On May 5, 2008, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.


On Jan 20, 2007, Equilibrium wrote:

It has been brought to my attention that there is no difference between the Microsorum and the Microsorium genra. Evidently the genus Microsorum was originally published in 1833. Botanist Dr. Link went on to publish papers in 1841 using both the spelling Microsorum and Microsorium (with an "i") in the same paper. Botanists have been using both spellings interchangeably since then. Both spellings are able to be found on numerous scientific sites although Microsurum is technically correct, they are both acceptable. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) uses only Microsorium musifolium while others use Microsorum musifolium.

Microsorium musifolium can be overwatered. If you over water this plant, you will kill it in the long run. M. musifolium would derive substantial ben... read more


On Oct 8, 2005, Pixydish from Lakewood, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found two of these at the local Lowes and they've done beautifully as foliage accents in my zone 8A garden. I'll have to put them in the greenhouse over the winter, but its worth it.


On Aug 30, 2005, KiMFDiM from Alden, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

So far, this plant has done well up north (NY). It is currently on the patio in the shade. I keep it moist and mist it periodically as it sits in a grouping of other tropical plants (wait a minute...they all are tropical!).

When it gets cold, it will be moved to a pebble tray in front of a south window with grow lights. We will see if I still think it is positive after the winter, but I feel confident that it will be fine.