Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

One vendor has this plant for sale.

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


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:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Suitable for growing in containers

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

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Thumbnail #1 of Microsorum musifolium by HKK

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #2 of Microsorum musifolium by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #3 of Microsorum musifolium by Equilibrium

By Equilibrium
Thumbnail #4 of Microsorum musifolium by Equilibrium

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By Kell
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By Kell
Thumbnail #7 of Microsorum musifolium by Kell

There are a total of 13 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative BayAreaTropics 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.

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

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

Positive Equilibrium 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 benefits from being allowed to dry out ever so slightly between waterings.

Positive Pixydish 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.

Positive KiMFDiM 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.


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

Deland, Florida
Ocala, Florida
St John, Mississippi
Alden, New York
Spring, Texas

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