Brief Description of Ferns and Bryophytes in Mt Field National Park.  

ASPLENIACEAE - Spleenworts

Terrestrial, epiphytic or rock ferns. Rhizomes, short-creeping or erect; scales numerous, lattice-like in appearance with darkended cell edges. Fronds often tough in texture, not joined ot rhizome. Stalk grooved, scaly at base. Blade undivided to several times divided or opening towards the middle of the segment. Sori in lines along single veins.


Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome short, erect or creeping, often thick a covered with papery scales. Sterile and fertile fronds sometimes different. Frond blade undivided or severally divided, mostly membranous; ribs mostly grooved on upper surface; veins usually free. Sori usually elongated along the veins, sometimes paired. Indusium narrow and elongated genrally U-shaped or J-shaped, sometimes round or absent.

BLECHNACEAE - Water Ferns or Hard Ferns

Terrestrial or sometimes epiphytic ferns. Rhizome erect or creeping, scaly and occasionally forming a short, narrow trunk. Sterile and fertile fronds generally different. Fronds leathery, simple or divided oncce, the fertile ones generally narrower; margins entire or saw-toothed; veins joining near the main ribs or free. Sori on the margins or lateral, solitary or fused together in groups; indusia present or absent, opening towards the mouth.

DENNSTAEDTIACEAE - Bracken and Ground Ferns

Terrestrial ferns often with extensive underground rhizomes. Rhizome creeping or occasionally erect, covered with hairs or scales. Sterile and fertile fronds similar. Fronds scattered or in tufts; veins free or netted. Sori round or linear, on or just inside the segment margins at the ends of veins. Indusia various, often reduced or absent, cup-shaped or 2-lipped with the outer flap reflexed.


Mostly large terrestrial tree-like ferns. Stems erect, usually trunk-like with a thick mat of roots at the base, occasionally creeping, covered with hairs. Sterile and fertile fronds similar. Fronds generally tough, divivded twice to many times; veins forked or feathered but free and ending near the segment margins. Sori numerous, rounded, marginal, terminal on the veins. Indusia cup-like, two-lipped, the outer lip generally consisiting of a reflexed or modified marginal flap but with a true inner lip.


Mostly terrestrial but occasionally epiphytic tufted ferns. Rhizomes long-creeping or short-creeping or erect. Fronds tufted, covered with non-latticed scales. Blades undivided to severally divided, the axes grooved and with prominent lateral ridges; veins free or netted. Indusia mostly away from the margins, elongate to ovate, round to kidney-shaped.

GLEICHENIACEAE - Coral Ferns and Fan Ferns

Terrestrial ferns, sometimes scrambling or creeping, with fronds that fork into two at each division; occasionally grown, mostly near water. Rhizome long-creeping, thin, usually with scattered hairs or scales. Fronds divided 1-several times, branching in a series of paired divisions; veins free. Ultimate segments mostly roundish or linear. Sori round, of 1-12 long sproangia, never at ther end of a vein. Indusia abent.





Mostly robust plants, often superficially like giant mosses that are erect, prostrate or pendulous and sometimes possess a tuber. Leaves small, undivided, often scale-like with a single central vein and without the ligule characteristic of the selaginellas, spirally arranged or in whorls or 4-rows. Fertile leaves sometimes different from the infertile ones or arranged into cone-like structures. Sporangia solitary in axils of fertile leaves with 2 kidney-shaped valves. Spores of one kind (homosporous).

POLYPODIACEAE - Kangaroo Ferns, Elkhorn Ferns, Staghorn Ferns.

Mostly long-creeping ferns that generally grow naturally on other plants or rock but are sometimes terrestrial: the group includes those with basal humus-accumulating fronds including the popular elkhorn and staghonr ferns. Rhizome long-creeping or short-creeping, covered with scales. Sterile and fertile fronds generally similar. Fronds undivided, or the blade divided or lobed once or occasionally several times, or dividing regularly into 2, sometimes with scales or hairs; veins mostly netted. Sori round or elongated, raised or sunken, running parallel with the main veins or margins or over fertle areas. Indusium absent.



Terrestrial ferns sometimes with twining stems or spike-like fertile fronds. Rhizome mostly short-creeping, sometimes erect or climbing. Sterile and fertile fronds mostly different. Fronds simple to divided several times, sometimes equally into two at each division; blade mostly tough. Stalks with narrow wing at the tip. Sporangia single or in a double row on narrow specialised leaf segments or on the final divisions of specialised leafless branches, ovoid to ellipsoid. Indusium absent.

SPHAGNANCEAE - Sphagnum Moss