ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 76 Number 1
Research Papers
Cultivation potential of two edible ferns, Diplazium esculentum and Stenochlaena palustris. (10)
Ole Mertz
The young fronds of certain wild ferns are widely eaten as vegetables, but their cultivation potential has received little attention. Two species common in Sarawak, Malaysia, Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw. and Stenochlaena palustris (Burm.) Bedd., were studied with respect to fertilizer response, tolerance to shade and open field conditions, and market value. Under present conditions of acid sulphate soils and occasional dry spells, cultivation of unshaded D. esculentum is not feasible. Yields of shaded D. esculentum increase linearly with increasing applications of N:P:K:Mg+Trace elements, but a partial economic analysis showed that production may not be profitable at 1995-96 market prices. Both shaded and unshaded yields of S. palustris were higher than D. esculentum and may be profitable with monthly fertilizer applications of 200 to 400 kg ha-1. Further economic analysis is, however, needed.
Keywords: Diplazium esculentum; Stenochlaena palustris; Edible ferns; Fertilizer trials; Market survey; Wild vegetables