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Basket Fern

Drynaria rigidula


Drynaria rigidula, commonly known as the "basket fern", belongs to the family Polypodiaceae. The fertile foliage fronds are large and dark green, the smaller brown sterile nest fronds are clustered at their bases. They can be epiphytic (growing on trees) or epipetric (growing on rocks) - in this case, the latter. Easily recognizable by being the only species in the genus with 1-pinnate foliage fronds. The lobes are narrow, taper to a sharp point, and are narrowly-winged at their attachment to the rachis. Sori are arranged in two rows along the primary vein of each lobe. An interesting fact: Drynaria rigidula serve as shelter for a variety of python speecies, most usually in winter. (info sourced from Wiki) PS: I initially thought this spotting was gristle fern (Blechnum cartilagineum), another common species in this area, but as usual, small details make a big difference. Gristle fern leaves are arranged alternately along the stem, but are broadly attached with no tapering. Notice the leave structure in this spotting (3rd photo) - Basket fern leaves are very different, although from a distance, they both look similar.


Spotted along the Summit Track at the Mt. Gravatt Conservation Reserve, only a few kilometres from Brisbane's CBD. Dry sclerophyll forest, sandy soils, mostly sunny aspect (afternoon). This particular area was well-shaded by large native trees.


Mount Gravatt Environment Group maintain this reserve, and their website is very informative and comprehensive - I have located this species on their website as occurring on this track within the conservation area. PS: Although common in Queensland, Drynaria rigidula has been classified as an endangered species in NSW. The species is currently known from only 3 locations in NSW.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on May 31, 2019
Submitted on Jun 1, 2019

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