Doryopteris cordata

Doryopteris cordata or ‘Antenna Fern’ is a small growing tropical to sub tropical fern suited to grow in pots or containers.

The foliage is tiered with the lower foliage being a mound of compact fleshy leaves with the ‘Antenna’ being additional foliage that rises on long stems or ‘antenna’ above. The upper foliage is actually the fertile fronds.

One of the interesting aspects is that the lower foliage rounded and lobbed, the upper foliage is more ‘fern like’. Another interesting aspect is the big question as to if the name is botanically correct. The plant is certainly offered under the name, however most respected publications do not list it as such.


Doryopteris cordata or ‘Antenna Fern’ prefers a well drained humus rich growing medium and does not like to dry out.

Dappled shade is best and frost should be avoided.

It is interesting that Doryopteris cordata is not a recognised name, the plant seems to be Doryopteris pilosa var. gemmifera originally from the Transvaal in South Africa.

Growing Conditions

  • Humidity – High
  • Light – Good filtered light to a little morning sun. Never hot direct sun
  • Soil – Humus rich and moist – well drained yet never dry.
  • Temperature – Warm temperature range is essential. This is a fern that is suited to terrariums and grows well in a range between 18°C – 24°C (64°F – 75°F) 
    It is not really suited to any position where temperatures drop to below around 6°C (43° F).
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