H.N.Ridley 175 (K); sheltered valley close to Aldrich Hill, D.A.Powell 458 (K); no precise locality, D.A.Powell 466 (K); Headridge Hill, B.Molesworth Allen P3 (K); behind Ross Hill lookout point, D.J. & B.P.Du Puy CI56 (CBG, K).
Rarely seen fertile.
NephrolepisSchott Gen. Fil. 1, t. 3(1834) from the Greek nephros (a kidney) and lepis (a scale), in reference to the reniform indusia in this genus
Type: N. exaltata (L.) Schott
Terrestrial or epiphytic ferns; rhizome usually short, erect, with slender, plantlet-bearing stolons; scales slender, often finely ciliate, peltate, dense on rhizome and stipe base; fronds in a crown. Stipe grooved; vascular strands several. Fronds erect to pendulous, usually simple pinnate; pinnae numerous, sessile, articulate on rachis, becoming reduced towards apex and base, toothed, often auriculate, minutely white-spotted around margins above; veins free, branched. Sori circular to semicircular, rarely linear, in single rows on either side of pinnae, sometimes submarginal, occasionally on marginal lobes; indusium reniform; paraphyses absent.
Sword Ferns, Fishbone Ferns.
This genus has a pantropical and subtropical distribution, sometimes extending into warm-temperate zones. It includes c. 30 species, many of which are adventives in disturbed or open ground and have very wide distributions. They are often tolerant of a wide range of habitats, but most frequently occur in damp habitats with light shade. They are stoloniferous and can rapidly form large, dense colonies by vegetative proliferation. Christmas Is. has 2 native species, both of which are common throughout SE Asia. They have become much more common on Christmas Is. since mining and roads have created suitable disturbed habitats.
Several species are important in cultivation as ornamentals and house plants, including N. falcata (Cav.) C.Chr. and N. exaltata (L.) Schott. They both have many cultivars which are more horticulturally desirable than the wild species, including the Fish Tail Ferns with forked pinnae, the Lace Ferns with finely divided pinnae, and the frequently cultivated series of variations known as the Boston Ferns.
The upper surfaces of the pinnae have a marginal ring of minute white spots. These are deposits of calcium carbonate, secreted by hydathodes at the veinlet apices.
Fronds ±erect, firm-textured; pinnae 1–9 cm long, gradually becoming greatly reduced towards frond base, usually with distinct, acute auricles; rachis and pinnae with many scattered, hairy scales, and pubescent on midvein of pinnae above; sori ±marginal on pinnae
2. N. multiflora
biserrata(Sw.) Schott Gen. Fil. sub t. 3(1834)
Aspidium biserrata Sw., J. Bot. (Schrader) 1800(2): 32 (1801).T: Mauritius, C.F.Grondahl s.n.; holo: S n.v.Epithet from the Latin bis (twice) and serratus (saw-toothed), the major serrations of the pinna margins sometimes with a second series of minor teeth in the sinuses (doubly serrate).
Large, terrestrial, clump-forming fern; rhizome short, erect, with many stolons and persistent stipes in a crown; scales, slender, 3–5 mm long, ciliate, dark brown, glossy. Stipe c. 25–50 cm long, stout, grooved, with spreading, basal scales. Fronds arching, 50–150 cm long, pinnate, herbaceous, ±glabrous, glossy; pinnae not overlapping, slightly reduced towards frond base, narrowly oblong, c. 7–25 cm long, acuminate, shallowly serrate, but becoming distinctly crenate on fertile pinnae, truncate at base, sometimes with a weak auricle on the upper side. Sori circular, in a row c. 2–3 mm from margin, on each side of the pinnae; indusium circular with a narrow sinus, glabrous.
Broad Sword Fern.
Christmas Is. Abundant on the plateau and upper terraces in any semi-shaded situations in the primary rainforest. It may be found in open parts of the forest itself or in clearings, but more usually forms very dense stands along roadsides and drill lines through the forest, and on the forest margins. A common, pantropical species including Australia (Qld).
Ch.Is.: common in forest everywhere, C.W.Andrews 85 (BM, K); Flying Fish Cove, H.N.Ridley 169 (K); Headridge Hill, B.Molesworth Allen P11 (K); central plateau, R.Shivas 800 (PERTH); track to Grants Well, D.J. & B.P.Du Puy CI8 (CBG, K).
An adventive species, often invasive when cultivated, and frequently becoming naturalised.
multiflora(Roxb.) F.M.Jarrett ex C.V.Morton Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 38: 309–310(1974)
Davallia multifora Roxb., J. Nat. Hist. Calcutta 4: 515, t. 31 (1844).T: India, Herb. W.Roxburgh; lecto: BR n.v., fide C.Morton, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 30: 309 (1974). Epithet from the Latin multus (many) and flos (a flower), obviously inappropriate for a fern species.
[N. exaltata auct. non (L.) Schott: C.W.Andrews, Monogr. Christmas Is. 195 (1900)]
Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 175, fig. 234 (1981), as N. hirsutula, S.W.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 251, fig. C (1990).
A terrestrial, clump-forming fern; rhizome short, erect, with many stolons and persistent stipes; scales ovate, 3–4 mm long, ciliate, dark brown. Stipe c. 5–25 cm long, grooved, appressed-scaly. Fronds erect, narrow, c. 20–150 cm long, pinnate, firmly herbaceous, the rachis and pinnae with scattered, pale, hairy scales, the midveins of the pinnae pubescent with a row of short, erect hairs above; pinnae ±overlapping, becoming greatly reduced towards frond base, oblong, c. 1–9 cm long, usually obtuse, shallowly crenate or finely serrate, truncate at base, usually with a distinct auricle on the upper side. Sori circular, in a submarginal row on either side of pinnae; indusium circular with a narrow sinus, glabrous.
Scurfy Sword Fern.
Christmas Is. An abundant coloniser of old mined areas, and disturbed ground in exposed situations. In areas with poor thin soil and limestone pinnacles it is often the dominant, if rather sparse, plant species. The largest specimens form dense thickets in the damper, more shaded, deep gullies towards the margins of old mines, and may form dense thickets over 2 m tall, while more exposed plants may barely reach 30 cm. Also common along exposed roadsides and railway embankments. A widespread species in tropical SE Asia, from India and southern China through Indo-China and Malesia to Australia (Qld) and the Pacific islands. It has also become naturalised in the New World, where it can compete successfully with the native N. exaltata as an adventive species.
Ch.Is.: N coast, C.W.Andrews 130 (BM, K); South Point Road, on railway cutting, A.Pearson P19 (K); central plateau, between railway track and adjacent rainforest, R.Shivas 886 (PERTH); old mine site, 0.5 km N of airport, R.Shivas 940 (PERTH); Irvine Hill road, D.J. & B.P.Du Puy CI3 (CBG, K).
The larger, more leafy specimens, from damper and more shaded areas, are less hairy, with larger pinnae, and may be confused with N. biserrata (e.g. C.W.Andrews 130).
Nephrolepis multifloradiffers from N. hirsutula (G.Forst.) C.Presl in having short hairs on the upper surface of the pinna midveins. These two species are obviously closely related, and further revision may unite them under the name N. hirsutula.
A.E.OrchardAustralian Biological Resources Study, GPO Box 767, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 2601(M.Is.)
Medium to large ferns, usually terrestrial but sometimes climbing or epiphytic, often with dimorphic sterile and fertile fronds; rhizome small to large, erect or creeping, scaly. Fronds usually pinnate, rarely entire or bipinnate, tinged pink to red when young; stipe scaly at base, with several separate vascular strands. Sori parallel to midrib, continuous or interrupted; indusium opening towards midrib.
A widely distributed family of 8 or 9 genera and 180–230 species; in Australia 4 genera and about 28 species, almost confined to the eastern coast; 1 genus extends to Macquarie Is.
BlechnumL. Sp. Pl. 2: 1077(1753) Gen Pl. 5th edn, 485 (1754); from the Greek blekhnon, the name of a fern
Rhizome short and erect, sometimes forming a small trunk, or shortly or extensively creeping, covered in narrow, shining, often brown scales. Fronds usually leathery, pinnate, rarely entire or lobed or bipinnate, usually dimorphic; fertile fronds (when dimorphic) longer with narrower pinnae; sterile pinnae entire or minutely serrate. Sori linear, continuous, parallel to midrib; indusium opening toward midrib.
Water Ferns, Hard Ferns.
A genus of 150–200 species, widely distributed throughout the world; in Australia there are about 18 species; 1 extends to Macquarie Is.
T.F.Cheeseman, Vasc. Fl. Macquarie Is. 38–39 (1919), as Lomaria; B.W.Taylor, Fl. Veg. Soils Macquarie Is. 152–154 (1955); H.H.Allan, Fl. New Zealand 1: 77–86 (1961); G.R.Copson, An Annotated Atlas of the Vascular Flora of Macquarie Island, ANARE Res. Notes 18: 25 (1984).
Lomaria penna-marina Trevis., Atti Ist. Venet. Sci. 14: 570 (1869).T: protologue not seen.
Illustrations: B.W.Taylor, Fl. Veg. Soils Macquarie Is. t. 35 (1955); D.M.Moore, Fl. Tierra del Fuego fig. 25 (1983); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. pl. 33F, fig. 189 (1989).
Terrestrial ferns; rhizome black, slender, creeping, glabrous in older parts, sparsely clad in papery brown, entire, ovate scales near growing tip; scales of frond sparse at base, occasional among pinnae, otherwise frond glabrous; fronds erect, 5–24 cm tall, dimorphic. Sterile frond to 16 cm long; lamina lanceolate, once-pinnate, 3–8 cm long, 0.6–1.3 cm wide; pinnae coriaceous, about 15–20 pairs, closely spaced or sub-imbricate, oblong to ovate, 4–8 mm long, 2–6 mm wide, entire, with prominent venation, attached by broad base. Fertile frond stiffly erect, equalling or exceeding sterile fronds; pinnae more widely spaced than on sterile fronds, twisted at right angles to rachis, oblong, curved, coriaceous. Sori in two continuous bands occupying almost entire undersurface; indusia membranous, with irregular margins.
Macquarie Is. Localised in the north and east in herbfield in sheltered sites with good drainage. Extends from S America (southern Brazil, Chile, Argentina) to Falkland, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha, Gough, Prince Edward, Crozet, Kerguelen and Macquarie Islands, Australia (Vic., N.S.W. and Tas.), New Zealand (North, South, Stewart, Chatham, Auckland, Campbell and Antipodes Islands).
M.Is.: Pyramid Peak, 17 Jan. 1949, N.R.Laird (HO); Green Gorge, 18 Jan. 1949, N.R.Laird (HO); N end of plateau, 21 Jan. 1949, N.R.Laird (HO); Finch Ck, Sandy Bay, R.D.Seppelt 12667 (AD, AK, CANB, HO, MEL, NSW); NW side of Green Gorge, R.D.Seppelt 12682 (HO, MEL).