Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cabbage Palm Fern, Gold Foot Fern, Rabbit's Foot Fern
Phlebodium aureum

Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Phlebodium (flee-BOH-dee-um) (Info)
Species: aureum (AW-re-um) (Info)

Synonym:Polypodium aureum

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

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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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Phlebodium aureum by Floridian

By palmbob
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By Floridian
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By 1cros3nails4gvn
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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral 1cros3nails4gvn On Oct 28, 2006, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

Ive seen this fern around the coastal carolina region quite often . it loves to grow in the boots of just about any palm tree. It also grows in the crotches of live oak branches where organic debris has acculmulated.
this also is very commonly found in the cracks and crevices of rocks and old buildings. If you go to downtown Savannah, GA or Charleston, SC or somewhere else historic, a trip to the historic district of the city will be the perfect example of this characteristic of this fern to live on buildings in addition to palms. in the wetter parts of the woods, this can almost cover the ground with a carpet of green. It will grow about anywhere that organic matter has accumulated.

Positive MotherNature4 On Sep 18, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This fern is sometimes called the Palm Boot Fern, because that is it's favorite place to grow. Epiphidic by nature, it is occasionally found on the ground, and will grow in a pot with well drained, organic soil.

The fronds can grow to 2 feet or more. It loves high humidity but good drainage.

Most striking are the rhizomes covered with dense, golden brown hairs.


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

Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Dade City, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Jennings, Louisiana
Beaufort, South Carolina
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas

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