Key to Tasmanian Dicots
Polystichum proliferum (Dryopteridaceae)

Polystichum proliferum (mother shield fern) is the only member of this genus in Tasmania. It is a very common and widespread ground fern in wet forests. The plants are large clumps, with large, many times divided leaves that are dark green, harsh in texture and have numerous dark brown, triangular scales on the underside of the stipe and rachis. It often produces bulbils (small plants growing from upper parts of the fronds) - the only other Tasmanian fern to do this is Asplenium bulbiferum.

It is occasionally confused with immature plants of Dicksonia antarctica, but that species lacks the obvious dark brown scales on the underside of the leaves.

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