Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Pteridophyte Literature for Asplenium nidus
Palmer, 2003.
   Aspleniaceae -- The Spleenwort Family Bibliography
      Asplenium nidus

Common name(s): spleenwort, `akaha, `ekaha, `ekaha kuahiwi, `ekahakaha, bird's nest fern
General Information
DistributionNative to the Hawaiian Islands, Polynesia, tropical Asia, and tropical Australia east to Mauritius and Madagascar.In the Hawaiian Islands, indigenous to Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Click here for detailed USGS map by Jonathan Price
HabitatMesic to dry forests
Elevation40-610 m
Plants large, epiphytic or terrestrial; rhizomes thick, short, erect.
Fronds simple, sessile, radiating in a shuttlecock fashion, broadly lanceolate, 50-100(-200) x 8-20 cm, entire, leathery; midrib wie, dark, flattened on upper surface, mostly thick and round beneath, sometimes triangular or trapezoidal; veins free, unforked or 1-forked, anastomosing at margin to form a continuous marginal commissural vein.
Sori on almost every vein in the distal 1/2-2/3 of frond, linear, to 9+ cm long, extending from near midrib to 1/2-2/3 distance to margin; indusia extending length of sori, narrow.
Latin nidus, nest, alluding to the nestlike appearance of the fern. The dark midribs of the frond were woven into lau hala mats by the Hawaiians to provide a color contrast.
David Lorence