Baidik (Nephrolepis acutifolia - Polypodiaceae)

Description: This fern produces pendulous fronds up to 6 m (20 ft) long on some of the many Pacific Islands where it can be found.

Distribution: Baidik is a native fern found on the wetter atolls of the Marshall Islands, including Aelōñļapļap, Mājro, Arņo, Jālooj, Epoon, and Namwo. It is sometimes seen hanging downward as an air-plant (epiphyte) from trees in damp areas, such as in the few real mangrove swamps in the Marshall Islands (for example, on Airōk, Aelōñļapļap Atoll).

According To Legend:
This fern also has magical associations in the Marshall Islands. For example, there is a magical song for visitors that involves this plant:

"Ikōt bwādik eo de jilepāni eo
Rōlōkōk re Riepketak oooo.
Jilii-piruk, kañi ko.
Jilii-piruk, kañi ko pako.
Ledik-in Ep ro ruo raar letok irooj."

According to legend, two young girls used this magical song to rescue a group of Marshallese who, with their chief, had drifted to Ep (a mythical island, which some believe is Yap). The song induced and enabled the sharks to jump out of the sea and eat the people from Ep who had chased the Marshallese all across the ocean as they were returning to their home of Arņo after being held captive on Ep.


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