Common Name
Maile-Scented Fern

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Phymatosorus scolopendria



Whole Plant


Location On Campus

 The Laua'e fern can be found near Keawe Gym next to the dorms.


Natural Habitat

 You can find this fern in moist rain forests and beside beaches. Laua'e also grows on rocks, trees or on the forest floor.

Cultural Information

Laua'e is indigenous to Hawai‘i. The Hawaiians adopted it for scenting their kapa cloth. Laua'e is sometimes broken into sections and twined with pieces of the Hala(Pandanus) tree for lei makings. You can find this fern in most resorts and gardens where it grows abundantly.

Plant Description


  • Rise from stem and grow downward
  • Must travel long distance to reach soil


  • Fleshy green
  • Specialized stem called "rhizomes"


  • Glossy green leaves with wart-like spore clusters on them
  • Two types of leaves, vegetation and spore bearing
  • Spore bearing leaves produce spores for the plant to reproduce
  • Simple leaf
  • Reticulate venation


  • Spores are clustered together on underside of leaf

Life Cycle/ Reproduction:

  • Spores fall to the ground
  • Then spores grow into a new plant
  • Asexual reproduction

Interesting Facts:

  • Family name is Polypody ferns
  • Nickname is the wart fern of Hawai'i

Web Site Links

 Campus Plants-page 18.

At this website, you will see information about the leaves and habitat.

 Phmatosorus scolopendria

This website will show the different names of the laua'e fern and also it's habitat at this website.



 Krauss, Beatrice H. Plants in the Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press, 1993.

 Valier, Kathy. Ferns of Hawai'i. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press, 1995.

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