Help us maintain this website and keep it free and open for our community of scientists, students, and conservation managers, who depend on it to obtain the most up to date information. Help us save species and restore native ecosystems!


Please scroll to the bottom for more images.
Pteris bahamensis (J. Agardh) Fée
Bahama ladder brake

Pteris bahamensis
Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Family: Pteridaceae

Group: Pteridophyte

Substrate: Terrestrial

Habit: Herb

Perennation: Perennial

Native Range: South Florida and the West Indies (Cuba, Bahamas).

Map of select IRC data for peninsular Florida

NatureServe Global Status: Apparently Secure

State of Florida Status: Threatened

Florida Natural Areas Inventory State Status: Rare

IRC SOUTH FLORIDA Status: Imperiled

SOUTH FLORIDA Occurrence: Present

SOUTH FLORIDA Native Status: Native

South Florida History and Distribution: This is rare in South Florida and is primarily know from the Miami Rock Ridge, the Florida Keys and the Big Cypress. It is frequent in remnant pine rockland fragments on the Miami Rock Ridge and in the lower Florida Keys. However, it is threatened from hybridization with the invasive exotic Pteris vitatta, yeilding Pteris x delchampsii. Using modern NatureServe criteria, we re-ranked this as Imperiled in South Florida in July, 2018.

SOUTH FLORIDA Cultivated Status: Cultivated

Comments: Visit our Natives For Your Neighborhood website for more information and images.

Synonyms: Pycnodoria pinetorum.

Other data on Pteris bahamensis available from :

Pteris bahamensis has been found in the following 66 conservation areas :
Occurrence Native Status
A.D. Doug Barnes Park Present Native
Big and Little George Hammocks Present Native
Big Cypress National Preserve Present Native
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Presumed Extirpated Presumed Extirpated
Bill Sadowski Park Present Native
Biscayne National Park Present Native
Black Creek Forest Present Native
Black Point Park and Marina Present Native
Boystown Pineland Present Native
Camp Owaissa Bauer Present Native
Camp Owaissa Bauer Addition Present Native
Castellow Hammock parcel 28 Present Native
Castellow Hammock Park Present Native
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammocks Botanical State Park Reported
Deering Estate at Cutler Present Native
Dolphin Center and Dolphin Center Addition Present Native
Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park Possibly Extirpated Possibly Extirpated
Eachus Pineland Present Native
Everglades National Park Present Native
Florida City Pineland Present Native
Frog Pond/L-31 N Transition Lands Present Native
Fuchs Hammock Preserve Present Native
George N. Avery Pineland Present Native
Gold Coast Railroad Museum Present Native
Goulds Pineland Present Native
Greynolds Park Present Native
Harden Hammock Present Native
Hattie Bauer Hammock Present Native
Homestead Bayfront Park Present Native
Ingram Pineland Present Native
Ives Estate Park Present Native
Kendalwood Present Native
Larry and Penny Thompson Park Present Native
Lucille Hammock Present Native
Ludlam Pineland Present Native
Luis Martinez United States Army Reserve Station, Richmond Pine Rocklands Present Native
Mangrove Preserve Present Native
Matheson Hammock Park Present Native
National Key Deer Refuge Present Native
Navy Wells Pineland 23 Present Native
Navy Wells Pineland Preserve Present Native
Ned Glenn Nature Preserve Present Native
Nixon Smiley Pineland Addition Present Native
Nixon Smiley Pineland Preserve Present Native
Northrop Pineland Present Native
Palm Drive Pineland Present Native
Pine Ridge Sanctuary Present Native
Pine Shore Preserve Present Native
Porter-Russell Pineland Present Native
Quail Roost Pineland Present Native
R. Hardy Matheson Preserve Present Native
Rock Pit 39 Present Native
Rockdale Pineland Present Native
School Board Property (Moody Drive and Turnpike) Native
Seminole Wayside Park Present Native
Silver Palm Groves Present Native
SOCSOUTH Present Native
South Dade Wetlands Present Native
Sugarloaf Hammocks, Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area Present Native
Sunny Palms Pineland Present Native
Tamiami Pineland Complex Addition Present Native
Tree Island Park Present Native
Tropical Park Present Native
West Biscayne Pineland Present Native
Whispering Pines Hammock Preserve Present Native
Zoo Miami Present Native

Pteris bahamensis has been found in the following 6 counties :
Occurrence Native Status
Broward County Native
Collier County Native
Miami-Dade County Native
Monroe County (Keys) Native
Monroe County (Mainland) Native
Palm Beach County Native

Pteris bahamensis has been found in the following 5 habitats :
Disturbed Upland
Marl Prairie
Pine Rockland
Rockland Hammock

All Images:

Pteris bahamensis
Copyright by: Shirley Denton
Pteris bahamensis
Copyright by: Lindsay M. Boehner
cultivated plant in South Florida
Pteris bahamensis
Copyright by: Lindsay M. Boehner
cultivated plant in South Florida