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Hi Will,
My son brought home a plant from college a few years ago.  It started as a big leaf and is now has grown to what I fondly refer to as "the Dinosaur plant."  I suspect it is some sort of fern.  The leaves/branches are thick and waxy.  I am hoping you can identify it. Photos are attached.  I have one additional photo I can send of the center of the plant from which new branches also continue to grow  but was only able to attache two.  Please let me know if you would like me to send it as well.

Can it live outside?  It has outgrown space in the house!  
Thank you!

Hi Patti,

Thank you for sending photos. Your plant is commonly called Hare's Foot Fern. Its botanical name is Polypodium aureum.

It is a tropical plant and cannot withstand temps below 55 degrees F. so you will have to keep it indoors in winter. Very long fronds can be pruned off at the base without harm to the plant. That will help keep it more manageable indoors. It is obviously well cared for, so I do not recommend making any changes to "improve" it.

I have written an article on Fern care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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