Microsorum Species, 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



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


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 is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Corona, California

Deland, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Ocala, Florida

ST JOHN, Mississippi

Alden, New York

Spring, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

St John, Virgin Islands

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 16, 2017, Donnalah from Spanish Fort, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I had my Microsorum Musifolium for 9 years while living in north Texas. It grew In a large planter with no hole in the bottom, in an east facing window with sheer curtains.

I divided it, once, but the shock caused it to take (literally) a couple of years to recuperate. The mother plant survived, however, the other didn't.

Otherwise, this plant did excellent and grew like crazy as long as it was watered with rain water (moist, but never soggy). It grew to about 3' wide!!

Unfortunately, it didn't survive the move to the gulf coast of Alabama. It went into shock, and never recuperated. I really miss that lovely fern.


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.