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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




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Hempstead, Texas

Houston, Texas

Humble, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 9, 2016, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I planted one on a Trachycarpus Palm that has a trunk in mostly deep shade next to the north facing wall of the house. Its looks good so far. I did add moss around it to help it get of to a good start.
You have to be careful not to use the ruffled form of this fern as that is much more tropical and heat needy. Those never are evergreen in the SF bay area.
The type here- blue in color is very attractive and a great addition to the fern collection.


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.


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.