This hardy fern, native to Africa, Australia, South East Asia and Polynesia, has the most striking fronds. These are deeply lobed and leathery to the touch. It prefers being grown outdoors with protection from the midday sun, and will establish itself in the forks of trees or between rocks amongst leaf litter. It produces deeply sunken clusters of spore-producing receptacles on the frond undersides, which result in wart-like bumps on the uppersides. The common name Wart Fern is derived from this! Though this fern can form an excellent ground cover, it can also will climb up walls, tree trunks and cover rocky areas, and may therefore spread considerably.
Preferring low light this plant makes a great houseplant if kept moist at all times. May be grown epiphytically in bright filtered light with the rhizomes wrapped in moss and tied to a suitable rooting medium.
A low maintenance plant when grown outdoors, they can be used on banks and slopes as ground cover in formal rock gardens or informal cottage styles.
Historically a paste of ground leaves mixed with earth from a wasp's nest was applied to abscesses. For wounds, leaf pulp is used as a dressing, and for insanity, leaves are ground in water and the liquid drunk.