Common name: Fishbone Fern, Herringbone Fern, Sword Fern, Tuberous Sword Fern, Narrow Sword Fern, Erect Sword Fern, Tuber Ladder Fern
Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) Presl APNI*
Synonyms: Nephrolepis auriculata (L.) Trimen APNI*
Polypodium cordifolium L. APNI*
Aspidium cordifolium (L.) Sw. APNI*
Aspidium tuberosum Bory ex Willd. APNI*
Nephrolepis cordifolia var. tambourinensis Domin APNI*
Description: Rhizome densely covered with pale brown scales; the stolons slender and wiry, sometimes bearing ± globose tubers.
Fronds erect or pendent, to 75 cm long; stipe usually short, to 15 cm long, scaly; lamina dull green, narrow, 1-pinnate; pinnae to 6 cm long, crowded, articulated to the rachis, often with a row of pale dots on the upper surface near the margin.
Sori halfway between the midvein and the margin; indusium persistent.
Distribution and occurrence: in rainforest or open forest, usually terrestrial (often growing among rocks), sometimes epiphytic (e.g. amongst the leaf bases of palms); north of the Clarence River. Often cultivated, e.g. as a garden and indoor plant; escaped and established in the Sydney area and beyond.
NSW subdivisions: NC, *CC, LHI
Other Australian states: Qld *Vic. N.T. *W.A.
Treated here in the broader sense. Further investigation is required on the Nephrolepis cordifolia complex, including whether N. cordifolia is present on Lord Howe Island where N. flexuosa is now recognised. N. flexuosa has been reinstated for the non-tuberous, high-polyploid fern previously included within a broad circumscription of N. cordifolia (P.J. de Lange et al., Vascular flora of Norfolk Island: some additions and taxonomic notes. New Zealand Journal of Botany 43: 563-596, 2005).
Text by Peter G. Wilson, Flora of New South Wales 1: 62-63 (1990), under family Davalliaceae; revised May 2017, P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: G.H. Bell, Flora of Australia Australian 48: 440 (1998); Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
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