Is it a native?
Rock Ferns - natives
Green Rock Fern (Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia) and
Narrow Rock Fern (Cheilanthes sieberi)
Family: Adiantaceae (Maidenhair family).
Natives of Australia.
Occurrence: Widespread, particularly on rocky hilltops. Both grow in grasslands, grassy woodlands and in forest areas.
- they resemble small bracken ferns
- height is usually to 30 cm.
The two ferns are sometimes difficult to distinguish.
Green Rock-fern (Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia)
- The fronds (leaves) are broad and divided into segments which are again once or twice divided into leaflets.
- The leaf-stalk has scattered pale scales.
- The scales are a uniform pale colour.
Narrow Rock-fern (Cheilanthes sieberi)
- The fronds are narrow and twice divided.
- The frond divisions are widely spaced.
- The leaf stalks have scattered hairs (not scales).
- The scales at the base of the leaf stalk have a dark streak.
They are perennials. Both are resurrection plants i.e. they die
down in hot weather, and quickly become green again with adequate rainfall.
Narrow Rock-fern is reputed to be poisonous to stock.
Photos: Top: Green Rock Fern. 2, 3 left: Green Rock Fern. 4, 5 right: Narrow Rock Fern. All: Castlemaine district.