Common name: Giant swordfern, Macho fern

Native to: Florida, Mexico, the West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, and southeast Asia.


This fern arrives at its common name for good reason. This big, brawny fern sports bright green fronds with bold, broad leaves and makes its relatives, such as Nephrolepis exaltata  look little by comparison. Macho fern is ideal for large urns or planters where it has room to flex its graceful 3- to 4-foot-long fronds. It's ideal for decorating shaded or partly shaded front porches, patios, and other outdoor living areas, as well as underplantings under trees and in shaded borders to add texture and colour. It's also specacular as a houseplant, but does need more space than you think!


Genus name comes from the Greek words nephros meaning a kidney and lepis meaning a scale. 

Nephrolepis biserrata

  • Native / exotic: Exotic

    Aspect: Partial shade to full shade

    Flowers: No flowers

    Fragrance: None

    Foliage: Evergreen, erect fronds

    Growth habit: Clumping

    Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant

    Height: Up to 1 metre

    Spread: Up to 1 metre

    Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils and likes humidity. Keep well mulched

    Uses: Grown in groups or massed in shady areas for texture, sighted at the base of shrubs and trees or for filling in shaded borders. Also popular as a pot plant but needs space as it is not small!


"The Dragon's Den"

96 Mbagathi Ridge,



Tel: +254 748 429 347


  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2023  Mandhari Plants & Design. Created by Mbambakofi Ltd