Fern Image Gallery

Ferns in the Wet Tropics  - Gallery 3

unfurling frond, close up   There are few things more beautiful than a fern frond unfurling. It contains in miniature all the information that will make up the adult. This one is a tiny Cyathea frond.
Drynaria species are very common in the Wet Tropics. They are referred to locally as Basket Ferns, as the "nest leaves" form a basket to catch the rain and falling detritus from higher up in the rainforest canopy, from which the fertile fronds grow. This young fertile frond shows the characteristic erect habit. Later, the mature fronds tend to droop over the sides of the basket.   young Basket Fern frond
Basket Fern with nest leaves   Here is another view of the Basket Fern, showing two nest leaves. One has been eroded by leaf-mining insects and remains just as a tracery of dry tissue. The one at lower left is dead but not yet mined. The nest leaves form a waterproof basket below the main body of the fern.
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