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Giant Maidenhair

Adiantum formosum


Adiantum formosum, known as "giant maidenhair" or "black stem maidenhair", is a terrestrial fern native to Australia and New Zealand. It is a member of the family Pteridaceae (syn. Adiantaceae). This species grows in most types of rainforest, is delicate in appearance but incredibly tough and hardy if it has moisture (which it does here). Ferns do not have flowers or fruit but produce spores on the backs of their leaves throughout the year.


Spotted in native bushland along Devlins Creek, in northwest Sydney. Blackbutts, Sydney turpentines, and large red gum and blue gums overshadow the area. Also an abundance of tree ferns. Well-saturated after frequent rains these past few weeks, and very well-shaded area. Typically forms large colonies on alluvial flats near streams in rainforest and open forest.


A good reference that shows many of Australia's native fern species - Adiantum formosum is listed as Vulnerable in Victoria (native to East Gippsland) and At Risk in New Zealand -

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Spotted on Mar 29, 2019
Submitted on Jun 7, 2019

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