Ferns and Fern Allies in the Canberra Region

Todea barbara - King Fern

habit Todea barbara is a large, thick-set fern that resembles a tree fern. The fronds grow from a massive trunk, locally up to a metre or more tall. The fronds emerge from multiple crowns. In our region the fern is quite rare, growing in the darker parts of protected mountain gullies. When you approach one of these in the Bush, the first thing you notice is the large size and the dark green glossy foliage. Closer inspection reveals simpler fronds than other tree ferns. It reputedly makes a good tub fern, though one that requires plenty of room! It is available from plant nurseries. A dozen or more splendid specimens growing in the Blue Range, A.C.T., appear to have been destroyed in forestry operations in the early 1980s.


Detail of the pinnae. The fronds have a primitive look and are a dark glossy green. Although they grow in the same locations as Dicksonia antarctica, the fronds are quite distinctive when seen from a few metres away.


A close up view of the arrangement of the sporangia of T. barbara.

back site mapDavid Nicholls
January 1998