Wild edible fern in Indonesia is an interesting topic to discuss.  There are some ferns which already popular as vegetables in Indonesia. But, Paku sarang burung (Asplenium nidus) is more popular for ornamental plant.  Their population is abundant in Indonesia rain forest.  Very easy to find them in the humid forest.  Sometimes they also grow wild in the urban area, especially in the parks or in the urban forest.

Some facts of Paku Sarang Burung (Asplenium nidus)

Local names

Asplenium nidus is also correlated with othes species such as Asplenium australacium and Asplenium antiguum.  The species have several local names in Indonesia.  Paku Sarang Burung is the most common name.  But people in West Java called them as Kadaka.  Kedakah, simbar merah in Central and East Java, Lokot in Kalimantan, Tato Hukung in Maluku, and Bunga Minta doa in South Sulawesi.

Wild-edible-fern-in-Indonesia

Habitat

Paku Sarang Burung is growing in a rosette shape, with new young leaves growing from the centre part of the rosette. Paku Sarang Burung has a terrestrial habitat and grows epiphytically. They usually grow on the surface of the trees. It will grow optimally in areas without direct sunlight.  Their distribution is very wide. From the lowlands to the highlands. However, this species will grow optimally in the highlands, at 1000-1500 meters above sea level.

Distribution

From several sources, it supposes that Indonesia is one of the centre of origin for Paku Sarang Burung.  So, no wonder we can easily find them on almost all Indonesian islands.  They are now widely distributed in the Pacific area, Southern Asia, and East Africa.

Paku Sarang Burung is promising species for vegetables

World Vegetable centre identify many edible plant species around the world.  Furthermore, they discover plants which promising as new vegetable plants.  From their publication, we can see that Paku Sarang Burung is one of the species on the list.  The most promising nutrition benefit of its species is, that they have a high content of vitamin C.

Wild edible fern for survival food in Indonesia

Taiwanese peoples already use Paku Sarang Burung as vegetables. They choose the young leaves to cook.  This part is soft and has a crunchy texture.  The colours are generally bright green. This section is in the centre part of the rosette from the nest form.  And generally, the ends part is still curled.

The leaves were stir-fried, steamed, or boiled.  It can be in a single recipe or mixed with some ingredient.  Just like other common vegetables.   You can also mix with the anchovies as mentioned by onestove.  Or you may also try another way of cooking as mentioned by Ian Bartholomew.

Other benefits of Paku Sarang Burung

With the high content of vitamin C, the species is one of the antioxidant sources we can find easily.  Paku Sarang Burung is also a potent anti-inflammatory and improves blood circulation. And for sure, like vegetables, it is also a source of natural fibre.

However, based on data from empirical studies, there are some medicinal benefits from Paku Sarang Burung.  The benefits such as hair tonics, relief of fever, and headache, contraception, and relief wound of bites or stinge of animals.


Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses

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