Known to locals generally as "ota" or more specifically lalabe, D. proliferum is a large terrestrial fern. It is usually found along or near stream banks but never in very shaded areas. Of the seven species occurring in Fiji, D. proliferum is distinct in that the fronds is simply pinnate with spiny stipe and veins with at least the basal pair united. D. proli^krum is unique in the degree of lobbing of its pinnae is quite variable. Amongst the locals, the young frond of this species is a well known local vegetable delicacy.This species is also known to occur in Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, Australia, Asia and Africa.