Common name: Chinese Brake, Ladder Brake
Pteris vittata L. APNI*
Description: Rhizome short-creeping, thick, covered with pale, papery scales.
Fronds mostly 30–80 cm long, erect, 1-pinnate, mid to dark green; stipe brown at the base, densely covered with pale scales and hairs; pinnae ± opposite, stalked, ± glabrous, in 15–30 pairs, with a terminal pinna, decreasing in size towards base of frond, upper pinnae 10–15 cm long and 1 cm wide, the lowermost pinnae 2–5 cm long; veins free, simple or forked once.
Sori linear, continuous, inconspicuous.
Distribution and occurrence: Grows on hillsides, often near streams; rare. Favouring Limestone. In Sydney suburbs often volunteering on and around concrete structures, such as crib walling and mortar joints in old buildings and railway platforms.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, ST
Other Australian states: Qld Vic. W.A. ?N.T.
This species is a known Arsenic accumulator
Text by Peter G. Wilson & pers obs P .D. Hind
Taxon concept: K.U. Kramer & P.M.McCarthy (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.