Polystichum proliferum (R. Br.) C. Presl

Mother Shield-fern

Rhizome erect, sometimes forming a short trunk with persistent fronds bases. Fronds to 150 cm long but generally much shorter, divided twice, 1-2 plantlets near tips of midrib. Blades narrow-lanceolate in outline, dark green, leathery, branches narrowing to base which is divided twice; uppermost basal segment often larger than the others; veins free, sunken; stalks covered with scales. Sori round, in 2 rows away from margin. Indusia shield-like, often soon shed, pale brown. Can grow in cool areas.

 Naturalised in New Zealand.

Recognition: Fronds with numerous plantlets on the main axis. Polystichum andersonii  Hopkins, Anderson's Holly Fern  from N America, is occasionally offered in the nursery trade; it has fronds divided twice with 1 plantlet bud just below the tip and is deciduous in winter.

Australia (South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania).


Created by: Val Stajsic

Updated by: Val Stajsic, May 2018

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Polypodiopsida
order     Polypodiales
family      Dryopteridaceae
genus       Polystichum