Pyrrosia Ferns on Mt Matheson

During the QNC outing to Mt Matheson in September 2005, two species of Pyrrosia ferns were seen and photographed. The Rock Felt-fern Pyrrosia rupestris (a) has its sori scattered on the underside of the frond while the Robber Fern Pyrrosia confluens (b) has them fused into a horse-shoe shaped mass at the tip of the frond. Both species will grow as epiphytes on rocks or tree trunks.

The sterile fronds are smaller and rounded and the fertile ones are much longer. Pyrrosia comes from the Greek meaning “flame-coloured” referring the reddish-yellow colour of the fronds in some overseas species, while rupestris means ‘rock-loving” and confluens refers the confluent sori in this species.

Peter Woodall

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