Native Plants

Pneumatopteris callosa

Not Evaluated
Malaysia Plant Red List
QR Code
SSN 02660
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The taxanomic status is pending for approval




This strange fern, Pneumatopteris callosa is one of the little oddities of Cameron Highlands, Pahang, the only location in Peninsular Malaysia from which it has been recorded and it was also found in Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. Besides, the distribution of this fern also includes Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Lesser Sunda Island. Unlike most ferns, whose coiled fronds or crosiers (the curled top of a young fern) uncoil upward, this fern’s young fronds frequently have a bend in the stipe, resulting in an inverted structure somewhat resembling a saxophone.

The crosier, with the tightly curled young pinnae, uncurls in this inverted fashion resembling the trunk of an elephant before finally straightening out into its final, erect form. Throughout its development, the young frond is sheathed in a slimy layer of semi-transparent mucilage. Exuding mucilage was previously thought to be a mechanism to protect developing fronds from excessive moisture loss but is now better understood as a mechanism to facilitate water loss from developing tissues, in place of the transpiration demand that would normally occur in mature fronds, and for the continued uptake of water and minerals, from the soil. In the process, however, this layer of mucilage also acts as a barrier to gas exchange between the fern and its environment.


Year Published Assessment Red List Category Version
2010 Malaysia Plant Red List
Not Evaluated (NE)


  1. Piggott, A.G. (1988). Ferns of Malaysia in Colour. Tropical Press Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. pp. 458.

Acknowledgements :- Ms. Aida Salihah Binti Abu Bakar, Ms. Ajla Rafidah Baharom, Mrs. Nur Hazwanie Binti Abd Halim, Ms. Nurfarhana Hizan Binti Hijas, Ms. Siti Zubaidah Binti Abdul Latif & Mr. Yasser Mohamed Arifin

Citation :- Pneumatopteris callosa. Malaysia Biodiversity Information System (MyBIS). Downloaded on 22 October 2021.

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