Plants of
South Australia
Adiantum aethiopicum
Common Maiden-hair
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.


Adiantum from the Greek 'adiantos' meaning unwetted, referring to the leaves remaining dry when dipped in water.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part in South Australia, growing on damp creek banks in sclerophyll forest or amongst rocks. Also found in all States (and Africa, Norfolk Island and New Zealand) except in the Northern Territory. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Creeping delicate fern with slender black stems and a mass of delicately rounded pale green fronds to 50 cm long. Fruits are sori (spores) on the underside margins of the fronds; large, reniform, usually 1–5 per segment. Seeds are very fine spores.

Seed collection and propagation

Look under the fronds and collect ones with spores and place in a seal paper bags to prevent spores from fulling out. Leave fronds in the paper bag to dry. The spores will fall off naturally or give the fronds a gentle shake. Use a very fine sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful as the spores are very fine. Store spores in an air tight container in a cool and dry place or in a -20oC freezer.