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Polystichum whiteleggei Watts
Family Dryopteridaceae
Polystichum whiteleggei Watts APNI*

Description: Terrestrial or lithophytic ferns, ┬▒tufted. Rhizome shortly creeping; scales on apex dense, lanceolate, to 2 cm long, 3–4 mm broad, long-acute, dark brown.

Fronds 3-pinnate; stipe (5-) 10–50 cm long; scales on stipe similar to those on rhizome, to 1.5 cm long, especially towards base; lamina deltoid in outline, (10-) 15–50 cm long, (7-) 12–40 cm broad, somewhat coriaceous; rachis and costae with usually dense, lanceolate scales to 7 mm long, with non-glandular arachnoid hairs between which are easily rubbed off; pinnules lanceolate, 1–2 cm long, irregularly bluntly serrate with apex bluntly acute and veins just visible above.

Sori often almost covering lower surface; indusia ┬▒funnel-shaped, 1–2 mm diam., without glands, caducous.


Distribution and occurrence: Lord Howe Is. Endemic. Locally common to rare on the flanks and edges of the summits of Mts Gower and Lidgbird.

Moist soaks at base of cliffs and margins of streams; exposed to heavily shaded; occasionally in somewhat drier habitats but usually smaller and less luxuriant than plants in moist niches.
NSW subdivisions: LHI
AVH map***

Text by E.A. Brown
Taxon concept: Flora of Australia 49

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.
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