Kino (Phymatosorus grossus - Polypodiaceae)

Description: Kino is a native fern that grows over the ground and on tree trunks. The creeeping rootstock of kino produces at intervals stems that have broad, dark green fronds 10-90 cm (4-36 in) tall. The fern fronds are often, but not always, lobed.

Distribution: This common fern is also cultivated in some areas. Kino is native to the Marshall Islands, having arrived on the atolls and other islands of the group, well before humans.

Uses: Kino is used for ornamental and medicinal purposes on many Pacific islands. In the Marshall Islands, kino is used in the making of both ut (head garlands) and marmar (leis or flowered necklaces). Kino is also used in the making of decorated strands (lengths of twine) to encourage peace and to dampen sadness; these strands have a bōb (Pandanus) frame to which the fronds (leaf blades) of kino and the flowers of wūlej (Clerodendrum inerme) are attached. Kino is sometimes used in a special type of um cooking technique in which pig, chicken, turtle, or shark meat is covered (top and bottom) with fronds and grated coconut. In addition, Kino serves as a baby medicine when mixed with grated coconut.

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