Pteris multifida (spider brake) profile

Written by Maggie

Mar 18 2021

Pteris multifida (spider brake) profile

Pteris multifida, commonly called spider brake, is a perennial groundcover fern of the family Pteris multifida, having a short rhizome and curved leaves growing diagonally upward, mostly sheltering under trees. The round oval leaves are vegetative leaves, the leaves are long and narrow, and the propagative leaves have a whole row of sporangia along the leaf margins. Pteris multifida is one of the most common native ferns in Taiwan. Pteris multifida is found in the foothills, plains, courtyards and gardens.

Pteris multifida can be found in more than twenty species, including Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, Penglai Pteris multifida, Pteris multifida, etc. 

There are many nicknames for the herb, mainly named after its leaf shape and ecological environment. The whole plexus color pale green, leaf shawl, very charming, with stone bonsai especially wonderful. The ground should be selected shady moist place, available for patches, lines of afforestation. Leaves may be arranged with flowers. Potted can adorn desk, tea table, windowsill and balcony, also apply to the sitting room, study, bedroom to do suspension type or set hang type to decorate. The whole grass can be used for medicinal purposes. It has the effect of clearing away heat and dampness, cooling blood and detoxifying and stopping diarrhea, and is equivalent to strengthening tendons and activating collaterals. It is mostly used for treating dysentery/diarrhea among people.

Pteris multifida picture

Pteris multifida

Morphological characteristics of Pteris multifida

Pteris multifida is a terrestrial dwarf perennial fern, its height is generally about 35 -- 45 cm, pteris multifida roots are very strong, but its stem is relatively short, it is upright growth, and there are black-brown strip lanceolate scales.

Leaves of Pteris multifida are dimorphic, fascicled, papery, glabrous; Petiole is straw color, smooth; Fertile leaves are ovoid, 25-30 cm long and 15-20 cm wide, pinnate, but usually forked below the middle, sometimes with 1-2 dissected pinnules 1-1.5 cm wide in base pair, margin acute serrate. The sporangia are continuous along the leaf margin below the tip of the leaf, like a protruded egg. The spores are brown and the lid is narrow.

Pteris multifida is a small terrestrial fern of the family Pteris multifida, with two types of leaves. Infertility pinnate leaves for a time, feather bar, base decurrent, the upper feather in arranged on both sides of a narrow wing, upper pinnae sessile, not divided, apex acuminate, long linear, margin entire, the apex of the pinna, longest lower pinnae usually 2 to fork, pinnate divider with several small feathers, long line, small pinnae also decurrent into wings on rachis, veins, fine vein by midrib pinnate separated, single or binary branches, direct edge, shaped like a Chinese brake, so its name; The vegetative leaves without sporangia are small, the 2-pinnae are wider, linear or ovoid, the margins are serrated, the sporangia are linear, along the lower margin of the pinnae, the cover of the sporangia is slightly beyond the leaf margin, membranous.

Fertile leaves of Pteris multifida are long-stalked narrowly velvety. In most areas of China, it often grows in damp places near the good fence, so it is also called the good fence grass. Its rhizome is short, the leaves are clustered, the leaf cluster is small and soft, the posture is delicate, is very suitable for potting.

Ecological habits of Pteris multifida

Pteris multifida is fond of warm and humid environments. It has a certain cold resistance, but when the temperature is below -10 degrees, the leaf tip will freeze and dry and yellow. Pteris multifida is slightly drought tolerant and afraid of standing water.

Pteris multifida is native to China and Japan, widely distributed south of the Yangtze River except for Yunnan, northward to southern Henan. No matter the mountains, hills, plains, islands or cities, villages are growing. More than in the valley stone crevices, well edge or shrubbery edge damp place. Pteris multifida has strong adaptability, like full sunshine and slightly wet environment, also tolerant to half shade, extremely resistant to drought. Growth suitable temperature day temperature is 21-26 degrees, night temperature is 10-15 degrees, cold resistance, winter temperature is not less than 5 degrees, indoor maintenance in winter, the leaves are still tender green, winter to water less, see more sunshine.

In the summer fear of direct sunlight, should be appropriate shading, or direct time is too long will cause leaf curl.

How to grow and care for Pteris multifida

Water and Fertilizer 

Pteris Multifida should be kept moist in the basin, and water supply should be sufficient during the growing season. Water can be watered once every 2 or 3 days. While it's important to keep the soil moist, for Pteris Multifida, it's fine to be slightly dry between watering periods. Pteris Multifida should not be watered too much, too much water can cause the leaves to fall off.


The suitable temperature of Pteris Multifida is 16℃ ~ 28℃, higher than 30℃ or lower than 15℃, the growth is not good, can not be lower than 5℃ in winter, winter maintenance needs heating equipment, if no heating facilities, can be used double insulation facilities, winter afternoon when the temperature drops to 22-24 degrees to seal the shed in time. Summer maintenance needs cooling equipment (suction fan and water curtain). If there is no heating and cooling equipment, shade and ventilation should be strengthened at noon in summer, and leaf water and surface water should be supplemented to achieve the purpose of cooling. At the same time, Pteris multifida is not suitable to use a long-distance greenhouse, but an independent single roof should be used.


Pteris multifida like high humidity environment, can not tolerate dryness, during the maintenance period should be frequently to plant and the growth environment of water humidification, the appropriate humidity is about 75-80%, too dry will cause leaf edge yellow, or even the whole leaf yellow.


Pteris multifida is an epiphytic fern with long green herbaceous plants. Pteris multifida likes a warm and semi-cloudy environment and is suitable for scattered light, so direct sunlight can not be allowed, otherwise it is easy to wilt and curl. 15 days after planting, the light control should be 2000-3000Lux, which is more suitable for the growth of young seedlings. Second, after planting, it is more appropriate to control the overall illumination at 6000-7000Lux for the first month. In the third, fourth and fifth months, it is more suitable to control the overall illumination around 7000-8000Lux. In winter, it can be controlled above 10000Lux according to the actual situation. Excessive light will cause the leaf edge of the plant to coke, fall off, leaf shrinkage, and growth is blocked.

The propagation mode of Pteris Multifida

Pteris multifida has neither flowers nor seeds. It was originally produced by asexual spores. When the spores of Pteris multifida mature in the spore cysts, they burst out of the mother and fly to the ground, and then develop into a new Pteris multifida at appropriate humidity and temperature. The propagation of Pteris multifida is mainly by dividing plant method, and it is easier to propagate with spores.

Pteris multifida

Disease control of Pteris multifida

Aphids, red spider: caused by bad environment, can be controlled by the effective ingredient 1% methylaminobamectin 2000 times.

Root rot disease: can be controlled by 80% mancozeb solution 1000 times, or 2% ningnanmycin 1000 times, brassinolide and tetramycin mixture: 2000 times: 1500 times.

The distribution region of Pteris Multifida

Origin: Originally in Europe, South Africa, tropical Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Adapted area: Except for provinces and regions south of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangbu, it reaches the south of Shaanxi in the north and the east of Xizang in the west. In the Taiwan area very common native fern, in the foothills, PingYe, courtyard, garden edge. In China, the Yangtze River Basin and the south of the region are distributed, Japan, Korea.

Variety classification of Pteris multifida

Southwest Pteris Multifida: distributed in Taiwan, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, Xizang; Japan, Philippines, Indochina, India, Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia

Pteris Multifida: distributed in Taiwan, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, southern Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, southeastern Yunnan;North Vietnam, Japan

Pteris Multifida: distributed in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi and Guizhou;Japan

Pteris multifida: distributed in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan; North Vietnam, Japan

Longlin Pteris Multifida: distributed in northwest Guangxi and Guizhou

Pteris multifida: distributed in Sichuan, Yunnan and Xizang; Northern India, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan

Pteris multifida: distributed in Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan; Vietnam, Cambodia

Pteris multifida: distributed in Taiwan, Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan; Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, North India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia

Pteris multifida: distributed in Taiwan, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, northeast of Guizhou and southeast of Yunnan; Japan, North Vietnam

Xibian Pteris Multifida: distributed in Taiwan, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, Xizang; Japan, Philippines, Hawaiian Islands, Fiji Islands, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, North India, Sikkim, Nepal

Pteris multifida: distributed in southern Zhejiang, southern Jiangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, Guangdong, Guangxi, southwestern Guizhou, Sichuan, southern Yunnan; Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Northern India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Polynesia, Fiji Islands, Australia

Broad-leaved Pteris multifida: distributed in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan; In northern Vietnam

Europe Pteris Multifida: distributed in southwest Henan, south Shaanxi, Hubei, Jiangxi, Fujian, west Zhejiang, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Yunnan, Xizang; Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Fiji Islands, Hawaii Islands.

Pteris multifida uses

All the herbs of Pteris Multifida can be used for medicine. It has the effect of clearing away heat and dampness, cooling blood and detoxifying and stopping diarrhea, and is equivalent to strengthening tendons and activating collaterals. Pteris multifida is mostly used for treating dysentery and stopping diarrhea in folk. It can also be used as the raw material of grass tea. Landscape wetland forest can be configured. The good fence grass grows exuberantly, the fine soft appearance, the shade resistance, the air humidity requirement is not high, the potted plant can decorate the desk, the tea table, the window sill and the balcony, also is suitable for the living room, the study, the bedroom to do the hanging type or the inlaid type layout. In the garden also do negative ground cover plants or arranged in the corner, rockery and poolside.

Pteris multifida