Ferns and Fern Allies in the Canberra Region

Blechnum penna-marina - Alpine Water Fern

Blechnum penna-marina is one of the more remarkable ferns in the Canberra region, as it grows among the sphagnum moss swamps in the high alpine regions over 1000 metres altitude (3300ft). It tolerates snow cover for several weeks at a time in winter.

habitThis clump was growing among alpine grasses and sphagnum moss. The photo shows the scrambling habit of the fern. A fertile frond can be seen at centre far right. The pinnate fronds are much smaller than those of other water ferns, and are typically 10 to 15 cm long (4-6"), with a similar length of stipe below the pinnae reaching down into the bog. The fern is very hardy and easy to grow provided it has enough water.

back site mapDavid Nicholls
January 1998