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Fern tree (Filicium decipiens)

Kerai payung or fern tree (Filicium decipiens) is a plant species in Sapindaceae, a tree that is always green with thick and round canopies such as umbrellas, 5-10 m high but old specimens in nature can exceed 25 m, upright stems, gray bark ash to reddish brown, smooth when young but rough and cracked when mature.

F. decipiens has large, fern-like and conspicuous leaves, up to 40 cm long and made of elongated longitudinal, glossy green leaflets arranged in pairs. Leaves on stems with a length of 3-10 cm, alternating, imparipinnat, 15-30 cm long and 12-15 cm wide.

Dlium Fern tree (Filicium decipiens)

Winged rachis with 6-12 pairs of opposite or sub-opposite leaflets, sessile, oblong-lanceolate with full margins and slightly wavy, 6-12 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, coriaceous, dark green and glossy above.

Flowers grow on stems with a length of 7 cm as panicles for lengths of 15-30 cm which carry many small, unisexual flowers and hermaphrodites with a diameter of 0.4-0.6 cm. Pentaparted petals with imbricate ovate lobes, five greenish white orbicular with pink shades, five stamina and bilocular ovaries.

The fruit is ovate, apiculate, 1 cm in diameter, reddish in color and tends to be dark blue when ripe and contains 1-2 seeds. Trees spread generatively in subtropical and tropical nature for annual temperatures of 13-34C, rainfall 800-4500 mm/year and dry season 7 months or less and altitude 0-1300 m.

Fern tree grows very well on clay and clay soils, withstands slow drying which is acidic to alkaline, generally pH 5.0-8.0 with partially to full sun exposure. It grows short and is famous for its striking leaves but large specimens also produce heavy wood.



Kerai payung usually cultivated in the park for green leaves, eye-catching, compact size, uniform shape and shade. Trees are also used for large privacy screens and windbreaks due to low branching and dense leaves.

Trees can produce hardwoods and weigh more than 900 kg/cubic meter with natural resistance to decay and termites. Heartwood is an attractive reddish brown wood and wood that is well sawed and shaped into durable beams and poles for heavy construction.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Filicium
Species: F. decipiens

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