Ferns and Fern Allies in the Canberra Region
Adiantum aethiopicum - Common Maidenhair fern
Adiantum aethiopicum is the only commonly occurring Adiantum in
the Canberra region. It is exceptionally hardy and grows in suitable locations
even in the dry scrubby woodlands around the city of Canberra itself.
The image above shows young spring growth on the slopes of Mt Ainslie, only a few km from the city centre. The fern appears to tolerate quite strong frosts and sunshine, but is usually found where there is good permanent ground moisture and protection from wind. In another location, also close to the city, it grows so thickly that it out-competes the native grasses. It is fairly common on the moister lower slopes of the mountains to the west of Canberra. As the dead fronds in both images on this page show, it often grows among Common Bracken, Pteridium esculentum.