Danaea kalevala

Danaea kalevala is large fern from the tropical rainforests of the Lesser Antilles. The fern is rare in the wild although more common in southern Guadeloupe.For most of the other islands the plants are only known from old collections. 

Danaea kalevala has impressive 1.5m long arching leaves and a trunk-like, creeping, fleshy rhizome that is covered in round, scaly stipules. 

Danaea are very long-lived ferns, they can be several centuries old.

They do not like disturbance of their habitat though, and the plants die after the forest that provides shade and protection is cut down.

Danaea kalevala was recently described and named after kalevala, the heroic epic of Finland.

This species is considered endangered as it cannot be cultivated, because the requirements of Danaea ferns are unknown and is rare in the wild.

Species detail

Danaea kalevala are large ferns up to 2m tall distantly resembling a small palm with arching leaves and enormous rhizomes.

The massive rhizomes are a distinguishing feature that

  • are creeping, dorsiventral
  • has several rows of leaves arranged almost radially but the roots only on the ventral side, 
  • are 30cm long, 10cm high, 10-16cm wide at apex when fresh, 
  • 6-10cm wide when dry
  • Danaea kalevala
    Taxonomy

    Find out about similar looking species to Danaea kalevala and how it can be distinguished from these. Learn about the evolution of Danaea kalevala.

  • Angiopteris evecta
    Distribution and ecology

    Discover where Danaea kalevala is known from and the types of habitat it is found in. Learn about population trends for the species and the type of soil it grows in.

  • Angiopteris evecta
    Biology

    Learn about the size and growth patterns of Danaea kalevala. Find out the lifecycle and life expectancy of this long-living fern. Discover how it reporduces and its means of dispersal.

  • Equisetum myriochaetum
    Conservation

    Find out the conservation status of this species and discover the threats facing its survival.

  • Angiopteris evecta
    References

    Get reference material for Danaea kalevala.

Images

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Equisetum myriochaetum

Equisetum myriochaetum the giant horsetail.

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Angiopteris evecta

Danaea kalevala

Danaea kalevala

Equisetum myriochaetum the giant horsetail.

Equisetum myriochaetum the giant horsetail.

Author

Dr Maarten Christenhusz 

Department of Botany

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The Kalevala

The Kalevala is a book and epic poem which Elias Lönnrot compiled from Finnish and Karelian folklore in the nineteenth century. Kalevala is considered the national epic of Finland and is traditionally thought of as one of the most significant works of Finnish literature.