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Family Polypodiaceae
Pyrrosia piloselloides (L.) M.G. Price
Bao shu lian

Scientific names  Common names 
Drymoglossum assamense Gand.. Kuto-kuto (Aurora)
Drymoglossum piloselloides (L.) C.Presl. Lagolo (Tag.) 
Drymoglossum piloselloides var. platycerioides Teruya Lapole (Tag.) 
Drymoglossum rotundifolium C.Presl. Likup-likup (C. Bis.)
Elaphoglossum piloselloides (L.) Keyserl. Piai (Agusan)
Lemmaphyllum piloselloides (L.) Luerss. Pagong-pagongan (Tag,)
Notholaena piloselloides (L.) Kaulf. Pakupakuan (Tag.)
Oetosis piloselloides (L.) Kuntze Dragon scales (Engl.)
Pteris piloselloides L. Dragon's scale fern (Engl.)
Pteropsis piloselloides (L.) Desv. Leather leaf fern (Engl.)
Pyrrosia piloselloides (L.) M.G. Price  
Taenitis piloselloides (L.) R.Br.  
Lagolo is a common name shared by (1) Acrostichum aureum and (2) Drymoglossum heterophyllum, pagong-pagoñgan.
Pyrrosia piloselloides (L.) M.G. Price is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BANGLADESH: Tenga-chara.
CHINESE: Bao shu lian.
MALAYALAM: Settatali.
MALAY: Pakis duitan, Sisek naga, Sakat ribu-ribu.

Gen info
- Pyrrosia is a genus of about 100 fern species in the polypod family, Polypodiaceae. Like other species in Polypodiaceae, the Pyrrosia species are generally epiphytic on trees or rocks, a few are terrestrial.
- Etymology: The genus name Pyrrosia derives from Greek word pyrrhos, meaning red, which refers to the leaves that are red due to spongia.
(20) Alternatively, Pyrrosia means "fire-colored," while the species names piloseloides means "hawkweed-like" referring to the long rhizomes. (22)

• Pagong-pagongan is a climbing epiphyte with slender rhizomes covered with peltate scales, creeping on trunks and branches. Fronds are of two kinds: sterile and fertile. Sterile fronds vary from elliptic to round, 1 to 5 centimeters long, 1 to 2 centimeters wide, with a rounded apex and a cuneate base. Fertile variety is narrower, 3 to 15 centimeters long, 3 to 10 millimeters wide, on stipes up to 2 centimeters long. Sori are arranged in a broad and submarginal line, not rarely filling the whole surface of the fertile frond.

It is a epiphytic fern with long-creeping rhizomes, sometimes found growing on the surface of rocks. Foliage: Fronds are simple, dimorphic and fleshy covered in sparse pale star-like hairs. Sterile fronds are variable, from oval, circular, ovate and oblong with smooth margins about 1-2 cm wide, flat against the surface. Fertile fronds are narrow, linear, 2.5 - 25 cm long by 0.3 - 1.5 cm wide, with a short stalk up to 1 mm long. Reproductive parts (Non-flowering): The sori are produced in a thick band, continuous along the margin, to the base of the blade or restricted to the tips only. Rhizomes and scales: The rhizomes are slender, long-creeping, about 1 mm wide covered in scales. The scales are oval, with a brown centre and paler margin that are hairy (ciliate). (22)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Common throughout the Philippines. from Cagayan, Nueva Viscaya, Apayao, Bontoc and Benguet, Pangasinan, Laguna, Tayabas and the Camarines Provinces in Luzon; from Panay, Leyte, Negros and Bohol; and from Davao, Cotobato, Lanao, and Agusan Provinces in Mindanao.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, Japan, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, New Guinea, Philippines, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam.

- Study of ethanol and aqueous extracts of Pyrrosia piloselioides yielded phenols, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, saponins, and sterols, with absence of alkaloids. (see study below) (17)

- Styptic.
- Studies suggest antibacterial, antifungal, cytotoxic, analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiproliferative properties.

Parts used

• Ground leaves are used as styptic for coagulating blood and arresting capillary hemorrhages.
• Also used for eczema, for conditions referred to as 'agihap.'
• Leaf decoction used for making a lotion for small pox.
• Decoction of leaves used as poultice for headaches.
• Leaves also applied to " bukol" areas, i.e., small subcutaneous lumps and nodes.

• Leaves are crushed and externally applied for pain. Decoction of leaves taken internally two or three times daily for body pains.
• In Mount Manunggal vicinity, Cebu, Philippines, plant is burned and mashed, applied to areas infected with Herpes zoster and other herpetic diseases.s
- In Baler, Aurora, used for wound healing, remedy for boils, lumps, enlarged lymph nodes, ulcers; also used for sponge baths.
• In Indonesia, used for breast cancer.
• Leaves used as ingredient in analgesic preparations.
• In Malaysia, decoction of plant taken orally to treat cough, diarrhea, and gonorrhea. Decoction of plant also used as bath to treat shingles and ringworm. (6) The Jah Hut peoples in Malaysia use the leaves to relieve pain: crushed as external application or as decoction drunk two or three times daily. (7)
• In Bangladesh, leaves used for earache. (13)
• Gargle made from leaves boiled in water used for thrush.
• In Sri Lanka, plant used for treatment of snake bites. (18)
• Aboriginal use in South East Asia for various health problems, such as body pains, cough, dysentery, gonorrhea; also, chewed to allay gum inflammation.
• A mixture of pounded fronds and gypsum used as poultice for skin rashes. (22)

Study was done on the antibacterial activity of water, ethanol and chloroform extracts of Dp against E coli, S pneumoniae and S aureus. Antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria was detected only in the water extract. (1)
Antifungal / Antibacterial: Study showed the chloroform and ethanol extract of Dp possessed mild activity against Trichophyton spp. The water extract was devoid of antifungal activity. The antifungal activity was less potent than griseofulvin, fluconazole and itraconazole. Antibacterial activity was tested against five strains i.e., E. coli. S. aureus, S. pneumonia, +B. subtilis, and S. enteritidis. Antibacterial activity was only observed in the water extract with MIC 12.5 mg/ml against S. aureus. The water extract has statistically less potent antibacterial activity when compared to standard antibiotics, ampicillin and chloramphenicol. (4)
Cytotoxicity Against Leukemia Cells / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity of a methanol extract of sisek naga leaf (Drymoglossum piloselloides) against leukemia cells P388. Results showed cytotoxic effects against leukemia cells with a 50% inhibition of cell growth (19.32 µg/mL). (7)
Cytotoxicity / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the cytotoxic effect of various extracts of P. piloselloides on MCF-7 breast cancer cell and in vitro antioxidant activity. Results showed the dichlormethane extract has highest antioxidant activity by DPPH assay with IC50 value of 28.29 µg/ml. Cytotoxicity (MTT assay) showed the FVIEDCMP with the greatest IC50 value of 28.73 µg/mL. Results showed P. piloselloides has potential as antioxidant and anticancer drug. (
Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory: In a study of 15 species of Philippine medicinal pteridophytes evaluated for antimicrobial, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activities, Pyrossia piloselloides, showed significant antipyretic activity in yeast-induced pyrexia and anti-inflammatory activity in egg albumin induced rat paw edema. (
* Analgesic / Leaves: Study evaluated the analgesic effect of aqueous extract of Sisik naga leaves. The aqueous extract of leaves at doses of 3.5 mg/20g bw, 7 mg/20g bw, and 14 mg/20 g bw exhibited an analgesic effect on female white mice. The 14mg/20 gbw showed the most effective analgesic effect. (12)

• Anti-Proliferative / HeLa Human Cervical Carcinoma Cell Line: Study evaluated the potential anti-proliferative effects of methanol and water extracts of Pyrrosia piloselloides on HeLa cell line. The extracts showed antiproliferative effects on HeLa with IC50 of 16.25 µg/ml while the water extract showed no effect. Neither showed effects on apoptosis. (see constituents above) (16)
• Toxicological Evaluation: Study evaluated ethanol and aqueous extracts of PP extracts for phytochemical constituents and toxicity. Toxicity tests were conducted using brine shrimp lethality test (BSLT)and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Lethal concentrations (LC50) for BSLT in both extracts were more than 1000 ppm. Levels of heavy metals were within acceptable range for Zn, Cu, and Mn, while Pb,Cd, and Cr were not detected. Results suggested safety for consumption. (see constituents above) (17)
• Chemical Eradication of a Debilitating Fern Epiphyte of Tea / Glufosinate Ammonium: P. piloselioides is a common tropical epiphytic fern that harms its host by smothering its growth. Manual eradication is laborious as the rhizome adheres strongly to branches and the ferns spreads extensively throughout the canopy. Glufosinate ammonium can kill the fern without serious damage to the tea host. (18)


Updated May 2024 / September 2019 / January 2017

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Dragon-Scale Fern / Pyrrosia piloselloides / © Caleb Gatto / Some rights reserved / NC BY-4.0 DEED International / Click on image or link to go to source page / iNaturalist
IMAGE SOURCE: Polupodiaceae : Pyrrosia piloselloides / Habit: Epiphytic / Copyright © 2013 by P B Pelser & J F Barcelona (contact: pieter.pelser@canterbury.ac.nz) [ref. DOL66747] / Non-Commercial Use  / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
In vitro Antibacterial Activity of Drymoglossum piloselloides L. Presl / M.S. Nazrul Hakim, M. Zarina et al /
In vitro Anti-fungal Activity of Drymoglossum piloselloides Against Several Fungi Responsible for Athlete's Foot /

Drymoglossum piloselloides (L.) C. Presl / Chinese name / Catalogue of Life, China
In vitro anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity of Drymoglossum piloselloides L. Presl. against several fungi responsible for Athlete's foot and common pathogenic bacteria / M. N. Somchit, H. Hassan, A. Zuraini, L. C. Chong, Z. Mohamed and Z. A. Zakaria / African Journal of Microbiology Research, 9 October 2011; Vol. 5(21): pp 3537-3541
Pyrrosia piloselloides / KEW: Plants of the World Online
The Use of Medicinal Plant Species by the Temuan Tribe of Ayer Hitam Forest, Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia / FARIDAH HANUM and NURULHUDA HAMZAH / PertanikaJ. Trap. Agric. Sci., 1999; 22(2): pp 85-94
Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used by the Jah Hut Peoples in Malaysia
/ K. W. Lin / Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
Uji Sitotoksisitas Ekstrak Metanol Daun Sisik Naga (Drymoglossum piloselloides Presl.) terhadap Sel Leukemia P388 / Anwar Sahida*, Dingse Pandiangana, Parluhutan Siahaana, Marhaenus J. Rumondora / JURNAL MIPA UNSRAT ONLINE 2 (2) 94-99
In Vitro Antioxidant and Cytotoxicity Activity of Extract and Fraction Pyrrosia piloselloides (L) M.G Price / E. T. Wulandari; B. Elya; E. Hanani; J. A. Pawitan / International Journal of PharmTech Research;Jan-Mar 2013, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p 119-125
Ethnobotany of Medically Important Plants in Mt. Manunggal and Its Vicinity / Maria Lilibeth P. Abaquita, Inocencio E. Buot
Antimicrobial, Antipyretic, and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Selected Philippine Medicinal Pteridophytes / Victor B. Amoroso, Dorothy A. Antesa, Dave P. Buenavista, Fulgent P. Coritico / LDCU-RPO-Asian Scientific Journals, 2012; Vol 5, No 1 / DOI: 10.7828/ajob.v5i1.479
The Analgesic Effect of Aqueous Extract of Sisik Naga Leaves (Pyrrosia piloselloides (L.) M.G. Price) on White Female Mice (Mus musculus) / Mhd Riza Marjoni, Zulfisa Arfiandi, Renti Nofani / Journal of Phharmacology and Toxicological Studies,2017; 5(2): pp 1-6 / eISSN: 2322-0139 / pISSN: 2322-0120
Ethnobotany of Medically Important Plants in Mt. Manunggal and Its Vicinity / Maria Lilibeth P. Abaquita, Inocencio E. Buol, Jr. /
The Analgesic Effect of Aqueous Extract of Sisik Naga Leaves (Pyrrosia piloselloides (L.) M.G. Price) on White Female Mice (Mus musculus) / Mhd Riza Marjoni*, Zulfisa Arfiandi, Renti Nofani / Research & Reviews: Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicological Studies / e-ISSN: 2322-0139 p-ISSN: 2322-0120

Anti-Proliferative Effects of Methanol and Water Extracts of Pyrrosia piloselloides on the Hela Human Cervical Carcinoma Cell Line / Mohd Dasuki Sui'ain, Fashihah Zakaria and Muhammad Farid Johan / Asian Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2019; 20(1): pp 185-192 / doi: 10.31557/APJCP.2019.20.1.185 / PMID: 30678430
Phytochemical Screening and Toxicological Evaluation of Pyrrosia piloselloides Extracts / Arif, Muhammad Zaim; Zainuddin, Nik Aina Syazana Nik; Zakaria, Intan Suziana; Wahab, Wan Nor Amilah Wan Abdul; Sul'ain, Mohd Dasuki /  International Medical Journal, June 2018; 25(3): pp 177-180
Chemical eradication of Pyrrosia piloselloides (syn Drymoglossum piloselloides), a debilitating fern epiphyte of tea and other trees. / Kalai B, Vengeta Rao / Planter, 2009; 85(999): pp 307-315
List of medicinal plants used against snakebites
Pyrrosia / Wikipedia
Fern and fern allies as non-timber forest product in Baler, Aurora, Philippines / KN Barrogo, MP de los Santos, AAT Montes, AD Quiben, EL Rotaquio Jr, EJP Balete / International Journal of Agricultural Technology, 2021; 17(2): pp 423-432 / eISSN: 2630-0192

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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