The Fern Collection

The Rimba Ilmu Fern Collection serves as a conservation and study facility and is mainly housed within the new Fern Enclosure inside the Garden. It is the first fernery commissioned in Kuala Lumpur and probably the largest in the country.

The Fern Collection is only accessible to visitors on specially guided tours. The enclosure that houses this collection protects against too much canopy material from overhead tree crowns gathering on the exhibits, as the whole fernery area is an outdoors facility that straddles a clearwater stream not far from the Activity Centre.
BlueFonds.jpg (35389 bytes) Iridescent blue fronds of Selaginella willdenowii, a scrambling fern-ally.
Photo: K.M.Wong
Matonia pectinata, a fern that occurs on poor soils developing on some quartzite ridges in Peninsular Malaysia.
Photo: K.H. Leong
matonia.jpg (40467 bytes)

There are 116 species of ferns and fern-allies in the Fernery, and another 18 species found about the Garden generally, making a total of 134 species. With few exceptions, these are species found in Peninsular Malaysia, where some 634 species of pteridophytes (comprising 583 true ferns and 51 fern-alies) have been recorded. This means nearly 20% of Peninsular Malaysian pteridophytes are found within our conservation collections. Many of these pteridophytes can only be cultivated in sufficiently moist habitats, a range of which is provided in the fern enclosure, which straddles a stream. The fern collection was first developed by Professor Haji Mohamed Abdul Majid for teaching purposes and was built up mainly by Mr Zulkapli Ibrahim.


Cyathea contaminans tree-ferns (Cyatheaceae) 
growing near the front-gate area of the Rimba Ilmu.
Photo: KM Wong