Polystichum proliferum (R. Brown) C. Presl

Mother shield fern

Etymology Proliferum refers to the proliferous buds and offshoots which grow into small plants on the fronds.
Description Rhizome: erect, thick, often forming a trunk to 10 cm, scales dimorphic, dense, lower scales spirally twisted, with marginal hooks, 2cm, upper ones appress.
Frond: 100 cm high by 30 cm wide, evergreen in warmer areas, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 4:1.
Stipe: grooved, glossy scales with dark centers, pale borders, vascular bundles: 4 or more, in an arc.
Blade: 2-pinnate, sometimes reported as more so, but no examples seen, lanceolate, with proliferous, scaly buds towards the apex, leathery, rachis scales brown, 7 mm.
; pinnules 2-8 mm, asymmetrical; costae grooved above, discontinuous with the rachisMargins crenate; veins free, forked, prominent on the reverse.
Sori: round, between midrib and margin, 2-5 per pinnule, indusium: peltate, tan, central, sporangia: black or dark brown.
Culture Habitat: moist to wet forests in montane areas. Distribution: southeastern Australia: . Hardy to -25C, USDA Zone 5.
Distinctive Characteristics proliferous buds near the ends of the fronds
Synonyms
Aspidium proliferum R. Brown
Hypopeltis prolifera (R. Brown) Bory
Polystichum aculeatum var proliferum (R. Brown) Domin.
Aspidium radicans Sieb.
Polystichum radicans Presl
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