Harsh Ground Fern

Hypolepis muelleri

Its fronds are green, triangular, 1-pinnate at apex and at least 3-pinnate at base, may be 1 metre high. At Tumbi Wetlands it grows in the areas ofter inundated.
Compared with Bracken fern, Pteridium esculentum, the green of this fern is rather dull (and a bit lighter on the underside) and the leaves themselves are flat. The stems are reddish brown at the base becoming light brown to straw-yellow above. It propagates largely by sending out long-creeping rhizomes (underground stems), 1-3 mm diam that have pale tips. Stems with fronds arise from these rhizomes at more or less regular intervals.
Notice that the sori (groups of spore producing cells) sometimes present in late Autumn, are scattered in 2 rows on the underside of the leaflets away from margin, as shown in the lower part of the photo. .

Created on ... June 18, 2012
Scale is in cms.
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