Plants of
South Australia
Christella dentata
Thelypteridaceae
Binung
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Adelaide
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Hawker
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Christella named after Konrad Hermann Heinrich Christ (1833-1933), a Swiss pteridologist botanist who specialized in ferns. Dentata from the Latin 'dens' meaning tooth, referring to the lobed pinnae.

Distribution and status

Found mainly along the Murray River in South Australia, with a few records from the southern Flinders Ranges and the upper Eyre Peninsula growing on damp banks or in hollows in the limestone cliffs. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia and Victoria. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Somewhat soft and delicate fern, producing numerous tufts of pinnate fronds from a stout, somewhat woody, creeping rhizome. Rhizome usually semi-exposed, covered in the frond base remnants. Fronds not long-persistent; broadly ovate to oblong in outline, to 2 m long, pale green to yellow-green, soft, covered in soft velvety hairs. Fruits are sori (spores) on the underside margins of the fronds between the lobes. Sorus covered by a heart- to kidney-shaped indusium. Seeds are very fine spores.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect fronds containing sori. Shake fronds to dislodge the spores onto a clean piece of paper. Store spores in liquid nitrogen.