Common Maiden-hair Fern
Adiantum from the Greek 'adiantos' meaning unwetted, referring to the leaves remaining dry when dipped in water. Aethiopicum is the Latin term for African, one of the many species first described by Linnaeus, from specimen from Africa.
Distribution and status
Found in the southern part of 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, Green Adelaide
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)
Creeping delicate fern with slender black stems and a mass of delicately rounded pale green fronds to 50 cm long. Fruits are large sori (spores) on the underside margins of the fronds, 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.