Blechnum penna-marina ssp. alpina

Alpine Water-fern

Erect tufted or spreading perennial fern spreading along a creeping underground stem to form small colonies. Sterile and fertile fronds dissimilar. New growth bronze to pink.

Additional information

  • FamilyBlechnaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size10-30 cm high
  • Plant groupingFerns & Fern Allies
  • LeavesCoarse, narrow dark green sterile fronds, once divided; scattered scales on midvein. Crowded oblong leaflets to 10 mm, tips blunt, lower segments smaller, separate. Fertile fronds taller, stiffly erect, segments curved. Red-brown stems, scales near base.
  • FlowersNon-flowering. Narrow, continuous spore cases covering either side of midvein.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to boggy soils in sub-alpine forests and exposed areas descending to the snowline. Frost and snow tolerant. Full sun to dappled shade.
  • Garden useDainty small fern for ferneries and moist sheltered gullies, intolerant of drying out. Can also be grown in the lowlands. Containers.
  • Commercially availableAustralian plant & indigenous nurseries
  • Conservation statusRestricted distribution within the Shire where it may be locally abundant.
  • Aboriginal Use In some areas - food - starchy rhizome eaten raw or roasted
Photographer/s: Peter Kinchington ©

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