Microlepia strigosa

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Microlepia strigosa
Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa (5188218312).jpg
Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Dennstaedtiaceae
Genus: Microlepia
M. strigosa
Binomial name
Microlepia strigosa
(Thunb.) C.Presl.

Microlepia strigosa, known as hay-scented fern, lace fern, rigid lace fern and palapalai, is a fern indigenous to the Hawaiian islands and is also native to other parts of the tropics and subtropics including India and Malaysia.[1] This fern belongs to a group of about seventy Microlepia species in the bracken or hay-scented fern family (Dennstaedtiaceae). There are two indigenous species and a hybrid found in the main Hawaiian Islands. It is also known by the botanical names: Davallia hirta, Davallia setosa, Davallia strigosa, Dicksonia kaulfussiana, Dicksonia strigosa, Microlepia hirta, Microlepia setosa, Stenoloma tenuifolium, Trichomanes strigosum.[2] It has coarse, light to medium green fronds which can grow to more than 3 ft (0.9 m) long.


Early Hawaiians used the fronds to decorate hula altars dedicated to Laka, goddess of hula.[3] The ferns were used as head lei (lei poʻo), neck lei (lei ʻāʻī), and wrist lei (lei kūpeʻe) and to provide a soft base against the skin.[4] The plants were believed to be a cure for insanity.[5] It was also used to bathe in and young leaf fronds were fed to babies.[6]


  1. ^ Growing plants for Hawaiian lei : 85 plants for gardens, conservation, and business. Honolulu: College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. 2002. pp. 40–41. ISBN 978-1929325139.
  2. ^ "Microlepia strigosa var. strigosa". Native Plants Hawaii. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ Nagata, Kenneth M. (1992). How to plant a native Hawaiian garden. Honolulu: Hawaii State Office of Environmental Quality Control.
  4. ^ McDonald, Marie A. (2003). Nā lei makamae = The treasured lei. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press. pp. 131–132. ISBN 978-0824826499.
  5. ^ Kaaiakamanu, D.M.; Akana, Akaiko (1922). Hawaiian herbs of medicinal value : found among the mountains and elsewhere in the Hawaiian Islands, and known to the Hawaiians to possess curative and palliative properties most effective in removing physical ailments. Honolulu: Board of Health of the Territory of Hawaii. p. 72.
  6. ^ Kaaiakamanu, D. M.; Chun, Malcolm Nāea (1917). Native Hawaiian medicine. Vol. III (2003 translation ed.). Honolulu: First People's Productions. p. 83.

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