Common name: rabbit's-foot fern
Phlebodium aureum J.Sm. APNI*
Synonyms: Polypodium aureum (L.) J.Sm. APNI*
Description: An extremely variable epiphytic fern with creeping rhizomes; rhizome finger-thick and densely covered with long golden-brown hairs.
Fronds wavy, parchment-like, incompletely divided, widely lobed; drooping; rachis c. 40 cm long, smooth, mid-brown; lamina 1-pinnate, c. 45 cm long; basal pinnae c. 25 cm long and 3 cm wide; pinnae c. 5 cm distant, attached by a decurrent wing to 1 cm wide.
Numerous round sori 1–2 mm diam. run in single or double rows along each side of the pinna midrib.
Distribution and occurrence: Recorded from Bryon Bay and Vaucluse area in Sydney.
Epiphytic in natural habitat but recorded as a ground cover in NSW where it appears to be a relatively recent escape from cultivation.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
Cultivated for its large deeply lobed deep bluish-green fronds; previously placed in genus Polypodium
Text by E.A. Brown
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.