Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Asplenium australasicum (Smith) Hook.

Large, usually epiphytic fern with simple, stiff, erect, bright green fronds arranged in a circular form to resemble a large bird’s nest.  [RHSD, Hortus, FNSW].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1820 from the East Indies as Asplenium nidus.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Macarthur wrote to Loddiges’ nursery on 1st February, 1849: ‘I brought up a quantity of Arborescent Ferns and Coryphas from Illawarra more than six months since but none of them are strong enough to bear the voyage yet.  The supply I send now of the latter will probably be sufficient until the others are fit.  I will fit in a collection of Ferns from Illawarra but it would greatly assist me if you could send me a list of known sps. which you wish to get and a second list of those you have in abundance.  Some of the finest such as Asplenium nidus [Bird’s Nest fern], Acrostichum alcicorne [Elk’s Horn] etc are natives of other parts of the world as well and you have them I do not doubt.’  [MP A2933-1, p.185].


The form of Asplenium nidus L. growing in Australia is now regarded by most as a separate species, Asplenium australasicum (Smith) Hook.

Published Feb 11, 2009 - 02:00 PM | Last updated Sep 01, 2010 - 05:41 PM

Family Aspleniaceae
Region of origin

Asia to Australia

  • Asplenium nidus L.
  • Neottopteris nidus (L.) J.C.Smith
Common Name

Birds-nest fern

Name in the Camden Park Record

Asplenium nidus 

Confidence level high