Pteridium esculentum / Bracken Fern

This fern grows in dense colonies and there is a distinct difference in colour between the top and underside of Bracken fern leaves. Also note that the leaf edges are recurved (rolled under at the edges) and that they have almost a shiny lustre; both these features distinguish it from the flat dull Harsh Ground Fern also growing at Tumbi. The panel at left of the photo shows the much enlarged sori (groups of spore producing cells) observed here in Summer, which are scattered in single centred row on the underside of the leaflets. Rhizomes are very long-creeping, 2-10 mm diam., densely covered with dark, red-brown simple hairs. Created: 10/29, 2007