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Common name: Common Bracken, Gurgi (Cadigal), Austral Bracken, Bracken
Pteridium esculentum (G.Forst.) Cockayne APNI*
Description: Rhizome very long-creeping, 2–10 mm diam., densely covered with dark, red-brown simple hairs.
Fronds erect, stiff, mostly 0.6–1.5 m high; stipe brown; minor rachises with wing-like lobes between segments; lamina dark green above but paler below, older fronds glabrous above with fine hairs below, broad-triangular in outline, 3–4-pinnate; ultimate segments narrow, entire or with a few basal lobes.
Sori ± continuous beneath margins; indusium 2-lipped, outer lip green, inner lip pale brown.
Distribution and occurrence: in open forest, or on cleared land where it can form extensive colonies and be a troublesome weed that is difficult to eradicate.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST, NWS, CWS, SWS, SWP
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. Tas. W.A. S.A.
See Bush foods of New South Wales for more information. This genus is often treated as monotypic with a number of subspecies and varieties.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: P.J. Brownsey (1998)
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.