antarctica (manfern or soft tree fern) is one of Tasmania's three tree
fern species (all are native). It is the only species of the genus
in Tasmania and by far the most common tree fern on the island. It
can be found in wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest throughout
Tasmania (except in at high altitudes and on very nutrient poor
sites). It has a thick fibrous trunk (often ~20-30cm wide at mid
height), that may be as much as 15m tall. The leaves are many times
pinnate and the sori are at the margins, protected by a hard flap of
tissue from the lamina (an indusium) as well as the recurved margin.
This species almost universally called manfern, but the less often
used common name (soft tree fern) refers to the
fibrous trunk, not the foliage
itself, which is much harder than that of the other tree ferns (Cyathea
Immature, trunkless plants can be confused with
Polystichum proliferum, but that
species has dark brown scales on the undersides of the leaves.