Also Known As
Este Hulwat Cokhesse [este, person, hulwu, high, -at, the one that is, cokhesse, beard]
Isti Shopka Chukisget [este, person, shopka, giant, chukisget, beard]
IshtaTaapente [person fern]
Yaat-Chayhe Echooshke [ya:tcayhico:ski, yaatcayhicooski, yaatchayhenechoonshke] – [tall person’s whiskers] 
Grass Fern
VANUATU, FIJI in Aneityum, the southernmost island in the chain): 

Order:   Polypodiales
Family:   Pteridaceae
Genus:    Vittaria
Species: lineata

Florida n c s

Other Uses
You will most often find this native, epiphytic, non-parasitic fern growing on Cabbage Palm trunks from near Jacksonville to Orlando, and southward. When the spores appear on the underside of the leaves, you will notice two strips of spores, which is one key to identifying this particular species. Medicinally, it is most often used to treat problems found in the head. It has been used by the Seminole to treat senility and depression. Also, by the Guayami of Panama to treat headaches. It can occasionally be found at native plant nurseries. If you purchase one and mount it in a palm tree to grow, remember to water it during droughts... it hates to dry out too much. 

—MEDICINAL USES:  Bennet [1997] learned that the plant is boiled and drunk or administered in a steambath to treat depression.  Ressurection Fern is usually added to the mixture, and it is also used to treat senility.  Snow and Stans [2001] list the plant but give no remedy using it, so perhaps Snow, like Bennett’s [1997] informants, uses it in a medicine they do not wish to divulge. 
- SEMINOLE: “The Seminoles used shoestring fern, as they did other ferns, to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including senilityand depression. According to Florida Ethnobotany by Daniel Austin, the Seminoles would boil shoestring fern, then have the afflicted person drink the concoction. They'd also use it in a steam bath for the same purpose. The Seminoles also used the leaves of shoestring fern to make a pediatric aid for chronically ill babies, and in birth ceremonies.” [6] To quote Florida Ethnobotany, “Sturtevant [1955] found Seminoles using shoestring fern to treat chronic sickness and insanity, and at birth ceremonies.  The Seminoles also use the leaves to avert maladies caused by lightning striking near a person [Bennett, 1997]. 
- CREEK: Reportedly used by the Creek as well. 
- GUAYAMI: The Guayami of Panama use shoestring fern to treat headaches [Gupta, 1955].” [4]
- VAUATU, FIJI: According to a 2011 article in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology entitled “Medicinal plant use in Vanuatu: A comparative ethnobotanical study of three islands,” the fronds are used in Vanuatu [a South Pacific Island nation] as a “cold maceration, taken internally against ciguatera.
- CHINA: Used in Chinese medicine. 

MAIN PHOTO; On Sabal Palm, Shell Creek Preserve, Punta Gorda, FL, Oct. 2, 2016.
—NATIVE TO: It is“native to parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.” [6]  In Florida, it is native to most counties from Jacksonville to Orlando southward., also in Georgia, just along the Atlantic coast in Camden County and in Alabama in a few Gulf Coast counties.  It is naturalized in a number of tropical countries. 
HABITAT: Moist woodlands, in moderate shade, found growing on palms and trees, most often on the trunks of Cabbage Palms.
DESCRIPTION: A native fern most often found growing on Cabbage Palm trunks. Leaves have two grove-like stripes beneath that produce spores. A non-parasitic epiphytic fern.
- FRONDS: Fronds dark green, narrow, long, to 12-18” long. “The undersides have two groove-like strips where spores form.”
- SPORES: It reproduces by spores. [6]
- CLASSIFICATION: “It had previously been placed in the family Vittariaceae, but that family is no longer recognized.” [1] Vittaria currently contains six species. [1] 
CULTURE: “According to the Institute for Regional Conservation, shoestring fern is cultivated.” [6]
- WATER: Not drought tolerant. 

More Details

Hardwood Forest Moist Woods

Plant Form
Herbaceous Evergreen Perennial
Shade Part Sun


[1] Wikipedia 
[2] Regional Conservation 
[3] A comparative study of the plants used for medicinal purposes by the Creek and Seminole tribes, by Kimberly Hutton, University of South Florida 
[4] Florida Ethnobotany 
[5] Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area blog 
[7] Robin Moran 
[8] Discover Life 

Last Updated: October 28, 2017

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