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Bracken (bushfire recovery)

Pteridium esculentum


Pteridium esculentum, also commonly known as "bracken fern", "Austral bracken" or "Gurgi" (Cadigal), is a species of the bracken genus native to a number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Esculentum means edible (see notes). It's a perennial shrub that can grow 1.5 - 2 metres tall with dark green, glossy and hard fronds on stiff stalks joined to hairy rhizomes (underground root-like stems) that contain slimy white starch. It is a common species in dry and wet sclerophyll forests. List of fern species found in Girraween -


Spotted along the Mt. Norman Track in Girraween National Park, on the southern side of Mt. Norman. I saw hundreds of burnt plants, but new leaves were fresh and glossy. Growing amongst larger native eucalypt species. Currently sunny aspect due to reduced canopy foliage, but region subject to extreme conditions - freezing cold (sometimes snow) in winter, and intense heat in summer. The entire area has just undergone massive bushfires, and drought conditions still prevail. This location has sandy soil.


Bracken was a value source of bush tucker (bush food), as well as having medicinal uses for Australian Aborigines and New Zealand Maori peoples. Reference links provide plenty of information. It can be toxic.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jun 20, 2019
Submitted on Jul 26, 2019

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