Blechnum wattsii —Hard Water Fern—BLECHNACEAE

Blechnum wattsii

Link to Images on Flickr.

Habitat— In rainforest and along creeks in open forest; widespread and often abundant.

Distribution—Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Description—A terrestrial fern, rhizome medium to long—creeping, rhizome scales dark brown to black with a pale border and finely toothed margin.

Local occurrences

Barrington/Gloucester Tops and Waitui Falls.

Fronds.— Not clustered, dimorphic, pinnate for most of their length, mostly 30 to 70 cm long, new growth pinkish, older fronds dark green and leathery. Sterile fronds with pinnae shortly stalked, longest pinnae mostly 7 to 15 cm long, 10 to 20 mm wide, basal pinnae only slightly smaller than middle ones. Fertile fronds slightly shorter than sterile ones, pinnae linear, 2 to 3 mm wide.

Blechnum wattsii
Blechnum wattsii

Sori.— Fertile fronds slightly shorter than sterile ones, pinnae linear, 2 to 3 mm wide having the whole surface beneath, except the midrib and a marginal strip, covered by sori. Indusia are continuous opening towards the midrib.