Inventory of Ferns collected at “The Shambles”

FERNS at  “The Shambles”

Key for historic reference notations to Plant entries:

“Catalogue of the Plants in the Queensland Botanic Gardens”. Walter Hill, Government Printer, Brisbane 1875.                            1. 1875

“Catalogue of Plants in the two Metropolitan Gardens, The Brisbane Botanic Garden and Bowen Park (The Garden of the Queensland Acclimatization Society). Frederick Manson Bailey, Colonial Botonist, Government Printer, Brisbane 1885                                     1A. 1885

“Designed Landscapes in Queensland, 1859-1939”, Jean Sim, QUT, 1999, APPENDIX G, referred to the following plant lists:

“The Flower garden in Queensland, containing concise and practical instructions for the Cultivation of the flower garden. And the management of Pot Plants in Australia”, Albert Hockings, Slater & Co, Brisbane, 1875                                                                     2. 1875

“Cultural Industries in Queensland: Papers on the Cultivation of Useful Plants suited to the climate of Queensland:their value as food, in the arts, and in medicine; and methods of Obtaining their products” Lewis Bernays, Government printer, Brisbane , 1883, (pp 201-207, The Shade of trees)                                                                     3. 1883

“Tree Planting for Shade and Ornament: Suggestions for teachers and others interested in the Planting of Trees” Edward Shelton, Dept of Agriculture, Government Printer, Brisbane, Bulletin 17, 1892

List: Philip McMahon, Brisbane Botanic gardens Curator     4a.  1892

        Ebenezer Cowley, Overseer, State Nursery, Kamerunga4b.  1892

        J S Edgar , Botanic gardens , Rockhampton                 4c.   1892

William Soutter, Manager , Acclimatization society      4d.   1892

“General Catalogue of Seeds, Plants, bulbs, Tubers, trees, Climbers, etc.” Samuel Eaves, Howard, printer, Brisbane, 1897           5.    1897

“Queenslander” under ‘Horticulture’ section ‘Shrubs’, William Soutter, 18/12/1897 pp 1181                                                            6.    1897

“General descriptive Catalogue for 1874, of Fruit trees, Shrubs, Ornamental and forest trees, Etc. etc” Charles Wyatt, Frogmore Nursery, Geelong 1874                                                          7.    1874

“1896 Catalogue of Flower roots”. Law, Somner & Co., Melbourne, 1896                                                                                      8.   1896

“Catalogue of Plants for Sale by Michael Guilfoyle” Exotic Nursery, Double bay, Sydney 1851                                                       9.   1851

“Catalogue of Plants for Sale at the Victoria Nursery, Richmond” George Brunning, Melbourne, 1855                                                  10.  1855

“Report on the Progress and Condition of the Botanic Garden and Government Plantations, 1873”, R.Schomburgk, W.C.Cox: Government Printer, Adelaide, 1874                                                          11.  1874

“Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, Catalogue of Plants 1962”, Brisbane city Council, Brisbane, 1962                                                        12. 1962

“Federation Gardens: Plant lists, Compiled from Searl & Sons General Catalogue 1901, Seeds, Plants & Bulbs for Sydney; Pearce Bros.Descriptive Catalogue and Guide 1900; Robert Little & Co’s Catalogue of Flower seeds Sydney 1900: Rumsey’s 1882 Catalogue (Roses) Sydney 1882                    13. 1900/1

“Talgai Homestead, Plant Ledger, commenced in 1868-1907 by Ellen and George Clark. Additions after 1907-1942 George Carr Clark, 1945-1965 Bardwell”                                                                     14. 1868                                       ,Hortus camdenensis: an illustrated catalogue of plants collected by Sir William Macarthur at Camden Park, NSW, Australia between about c.1820 & 1861 / by Colin Mills     15. Camden

“The Garden Plants of China” Peter Valder, Florilegium, Sydney 1999      16. China

Ferns being neither gymnosperms nor angiosperms are a unique and ancient form of vascular plant. They do not flower or set seed but propagate by producing spores or by spreading rhizomes. Their reliance on spores also requires moist conditions and our recent wet years have encouraged new ferns to appear on many tree trunks, stone walls and other cool south facing positions. Our ferns are collected together in our own ‘Fernery and Fungery’. Pictorial references for identification, & “Subtropical Gardening Magazine” published quarterly in Brisbane.

Adiantum aesthiopicum (common maiden hair fern) this delightful low growing fern does require moisture to look its best. There are a great many species of maiden hair about 200 in fact plus Adiantum cultivars available. 1.1875 (13 species of Maidenhair, 4 Australian), 1A.1885 (12 species, 3 Australian), 7.1897, 11.1874, 13.1900/1 ? syn. Adiantum atroviride (Maiden hair fern) Fernery, Coral Fountain

Adiantum hispidulum (Rough Maidenhair) longer staight fronds Eastern Australia.Plough Inn, Central Shrubbery, Fernery

Adiantum macrophyllum Fern 6″ LargeLeaf maidenhair fern, large leaf maidenhair fern The native range of this species is Mexico to Tropical America. It is a perennial or rhizomatous geophyte and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome. Adiantum macrophyllum is a large-leaf, tropical maidenhair fern that displays new fronds that are peach-pink in color. Arching fronds mature to a deep green color. Grows with a clump habit suitable for large pots.

Adiantum silvaticum   Eastern Australia Coral Fountain, Fernery

Adiantum peruvianum   Maidenhair with much larger leaflets, new ones on red-bronze Central America Fernery

ANGIOPTERIS EVECTA_, commonly known as the GIANT FERN, is a rare plant occurring in eastern and northern Australia and the Malay Peninsula . Also found growing in nearby islands such as Borneo, Sumatra , New Guinea and various places in Polynesia, Melanesia and Madagascar Listed as endangered in New South Wales , where it has been recorded growing in subtropical rainforest, in the valley of the Tweed River. It was originally described as Polypodium evectum by Georg Forster in 1786, before being reclassified and given its current binomial name in 1796 by Georg Franz Hoffmann. _Angiopteris evecta_ can be grown in well-drained moist sites in the garden with some shade. It is very difficult to propagate by spores but the stipules from the frond base can be removed and will form a new plant in around a year in a medium of sand and peat. This is a plant that requires a warm shady position with good moisture.A humus rich moist soil essential, along with good drainage. A position in dappled shade with protection from frosts is best. Ongoing maintenance includes mulching to maintain a humus rich moist soil, and additional water during any long dry spells. Removal of old dead fronds is the only other real maintenancerequired BOTTOM OF BACK STAIRS lost 2019

Asplenium antiquum (Ruffled Birds Nest Fern) Similar in habit, with long leaf blades, to A,nidus Japan, China, Korea Fernery

Asplenium australasicum (birds nest fern) The form of Asplenium nidus  growing in Australia is now regarded by most as a separate species, Asplenium australasicum which was introduced to Britain in 1820 from the East Indies as Asplenium nidus.Dramatic long leaf blades, very successful as epiphyte and in ground under trees throughout most gardens where there is adequate leaf litter and ground moisture. Australia 1.1875, (13 Asplenium spp), 1A.1885 (21 species, 9 Australian), 7.1897, 13.1900/1 (A.nidus),15.Camden Orchid Walk, Rainforest Walk, selfset in Stone garden near back stairs, west garden/Hydrangea walk, Fernery

Asplenium australasicum bifurcatum  Birds nest fern CV with ends of fronds divided . Plough Inn 

Asplenium nidus “Crispy Wave”  Near Back Stairs

Blechnum gibbum (Silver lady fern) Fiji, New Caledonia Fernery

Blechnum nudum (Fish Boned Water fern) Tasmania Fernery

Blechnum patersonii (Strap Leaved Water fern) Eastern Australia Fernery

Calochaena dubia (Mountain Bracken fern) appears spontaneously in our garden in summer. North Eastern Australia Eastern Borders, central Lawn and borders, Plough Inn

Cyathea australis is commonly known as the Rough Tree Fern due to the presence of adventitious roots, tubercles (knobbly bits) and masses of hair-like scales on its ‘trunk’. The ‘trunk’ like structure on a tree-fern is actually a greatly enlarged rhizome! The horticultural appeal of C. australis is not only due to its beautiful looks but also because it is an extremely hardy species, even capable of tolerating direct sun when the roots are wet. It is also a robust tub plant and is unusual in that it is tolerant of salty winds. C. australis is thus a popular, cold-hardy tree-fern, adaptable to a variety of climates and soils. C. cooperi, the Lacy Tree Fern, derives this name from its delicate fronds. It is also known as the Australian Tree Fern as it is one of the most commonly grown Australian tree-ferns. Cyathea cooperi is quite distinctive from C. australis in that it has a more slender trunk with distinctive “coin spots” where old fronds have broken off the trunk. C. cooperi fronds are bright green and lacy and tend to be very fast growing. NW rainforest corner

Cyathea brownii (Norfolk Island Tree fern) Cyathea brownii ‘Aussie Larrikin’ is a cross between Cyathea cooperi and C.brownii (Norfolk Island tree fern). It is a sport that was collected and grown on, and is supposed to be a dwarf form. It is propagated by Heaton’s nursery in Nambour, Qld. Fast growing tree fern for warmer climates with a tall single trunk and deeply divided long lacy green fronds. Lacy bright green fronds grow 2-3 metres in length and attactive as they unfurl. The trunk is covered in light sandy-brown scales, marks from where old tree fronds have detached  1A.1885 (C.dealbata, macarthurii, medullaris) Rain forest Walk, Fernery

Cyathea cooperi (common tree fern) An iconic tall fern of warm climate gardens. Cyathea cooperi  tall and elegant single trunked tree fern with spreading 4m fronds creating a wonderful high canopy. It gets its name ‘Coin Spot Fern’ because of the smooth oval scars left on the trunk when the dead fronds fall off. The top of the trunk, crown and frond bases are covered with soft, blond scales. These ferns come from moist and shaded gullies of Queensland and NSW and do not cope with colder climates. cooperi – named by Ferdinand von Mueller in honour of Sir Daniel Cooper (1821-1902). Cooper was a Member of the old New South Wales Legislative Council from 1849 and of the new Legislative Assembly after responsible self-government was granted in 1856.         These are sensitive to drying out during hot dry weather and favour a shady positions Australia 1.1875 SE Corner, West gardens/hydrangea walk, Central Lawn and borders, Rain forest walk

Cyrtomium falcatum syn. Phanerophlebia spp (Holly Fern) Araucaria walk, Fernery

Davallia fejeensis (Fijian Hares foot fern) Very finely divided leaflets on long cascading fronds. Fiji Orchid Walk

Davallia pyxidata (hares foot fern) Epiphytic fern which produces ‘hares foot’ rhizome or stem below the crown 1.1875 (5 other spp), 1A.1885 (12 species incl pyxidata) Orchid Walk, East Borders

Doodia media known as rasp fern, is a fern species in the Blechnaceae family. The species was formally described by botanist Robert Brown in 1810. Distribution of the species includes New Zealand’s North Island and the upper part of the South Island. It is also found in Australia and Lord Howe Island. Near Back Stairs

Doodia aspera (Prickley rasp fern) Attractive new reddish fronds. Australia 1A.1885 Coral Fountain

Drynaria rigidula cv. whitei. This rare variety from the Glasshouse Mountains throws new fronds right through the warm months and holds more foliage than other types. This plant is so highly sought but seldom obtainable. An unusual basket fern with big wide frilly arching fronds to 1m long and short erect nest leaves. Native to Nth NSW and QLD.. Bottom of back stairs

Hemionitis arifolia syn Asplenium arifolia,syn Hemionitis cordifolia (Heart Fern) is an attractive and unusual dwarf fern primarily from Laos, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and possibly China, Taiwan and other nations in tropical Southeast Asia. Its leaves start as black string-like stems covered in thin hair that eventually protrude to reveal a small leaf. Unlike other ferns that grow from a crozier that uncoils, the leaf continuously grows into a matured form. The fern is both an epiphyte and grows on trees as well as a terrestrial plant. Introduced in 1859  near back stairs

Hypolepis muelieri  known as the ground fern or harsh ground fern is a common small fern found in swampy areas and beside streams in eastern Australia. Usually seen between 30 and 100 cm tall with an erect habit. Despite the common name, the fronds are soft to touch. This plant was named in honour of the colonial botanist Ferdinand von Mueller.The original specimen was collected from Alfred National Park in 1941.  Near back stairs.

Microsorum pustulatum (Kangaroo fern) Native to Australia and New Zealand Fernery, Coral Fountain

Microsorum crocodyllus (Crocodile fern) Long fronds like Asplenium but tesselated in texture. South East Asia and New Guinea Fernery

Nephrolepis cordifolia (common fish bone fern) A common shade and dry tolerant fern. Does have weed potential. 30 species known such as Sword fern and Boston fern. 3 distinct forms are very hardy in our garden. America 1.1875 (3 spp Nephrolepis), 7.1897 Rain forest Walk, around back stairs, East border gardens

Nephrolepis exalta “Gold” Fernery, Back stairs,, Blue treelis garden.

Pellaea rotundifolia (Button fern) New Zealand Fernery, Coral Fountain

Phlebodium aureum   Golden Polypody. Large Fronds smooth serration.  Cook Islands, Under Red Cedar in Orchid walk

Phlegmariurus squarrosus (Indonesia Long Stem Tassel Fern) An unusual, prehistoric group of plants with striking foliage and structure.

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte, Herbaceous Plant, Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial


Native Distribution Western Indian Ocean (Madagascar; Mauritius, Seychelles), Southern China (Yunan), Taiwan, Indochina, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia (Queensland), Pacific (Micronesia, French Polynesia, Fiji)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Temperate Forest), Shoreline (Mangrove Forest)


Growth Form A type of fir clubmoss, one of the oldest “living fossils” of fern-allies, with fossils dating back to the Carboniferous period (~360 million years ago). Herbaceous with creeping rhizomes, arching to 20cm height and trailing up to 75cm length.
Foliage Fronds trailing, tufted, arched or nodding towards tip, bifurcating (dividing into 2) as they lengthen. Stems thin (4mm across), brownish when older. Frondlets pale to yellowish green, narrowly-linear and bristle-like, whorled at 60-90° along stem axis. Bulblets (gemmae) formed at base of upper fronds during end of each annual growth cycle.
Local Conservation Status: Native to Singapore, extinct in the wild.Fertile Fronds: Gradual transistion from sterile to fertile zone. Fertile fronds terminal, arranged in whorls of 5, with sporangia in axils.Propagation: Propagate by modfied form of stem cuttings, bulbets (which fall to ground when mature, and sprout to form new plants), and spores. For stem cuttings, remove apical sections (5-15cm) from stock plant, lay horizontally on well-drained soilless media, and cover cut ends with moist media — this can be done inside terrariums to maintain humidity. Upward-turning shoot tips are ideal materials for stem cuttings. Simple layering of stems from rooted plants are said to be much easier to root. New shoots should emerge from cutting mix in 6-15 months, and can be potted up when they reach 5cm height. Recently-potted plants should be left undisturbed to aid establishment.

Phyllitis scolopendrium syn. Asplenium scolopendrium    (Harts tongue) Fernery

Platycerium bifurcatum syn. Acrostichum alicorne (Elkhorn). Large epiphytic fern with shield which adheres to tree trunks or walls Introduced to Britain as Acrostichum alcicorne in 1808. Australia 1.1875 (P.alicorne), 1A.1885 (P.aleicorne), 13.1900/1,15.Camden Criss-Cross garden, Rainforest Walk

Platycerium superbum (Stag horn) Large epiphytic fern with shield which adheres to trees. Spectaular high in trees or understory fern Introduced to Britain from Moreton Bay by Alan Cunningham in 1828. Australia 1.1875 (P.grande), 1A.1885 (P.grande), 13.1900/1,15.Camden Orchid Walk, West gardens, self set on rockwork Stone circle, Rock garden and even on older shrubs

Polypodium aurium syn. Phlebodium (75 species) Central and South America Rain forest walk, fernery

Polystichum tsus-sinense ?Polystichum retroso  (Shield fern) China  Fernery

Pteris cretica cultivar albo-lineata (Brake fern) attractive tall stem with fronds variegated with a cream-yellow central line of colour.Fernery

Pteris cretica cv. mayii (Brake fern) larger leaflets more crested than above Fernery, Coral fountain

Pteris enformis cv.Victoriae (Brake fern) long narrow leaflets , longitudinal and banded with lighter-cream colour Fernery

Pteris dentata Toothed Brake Fern South Africa fernery

Pyrrosia rupestris Epiphytic linear leaflets on tree trucks or stone (Rock Felt fern) Tree trunks Orchid Walk

 Rumohra adiantiformis (Leathery Shield fern) Eastern Australia Fernery

Rumohra adiantiformis leathery shield fern Fronds distant along rhizome, erect to drooping, glossy, leathery, variable in size and shape, 25–100 cm long. Stipe long, deeply grooved, with papery, brown scales. Lamina 2–3-pinnate, narrowly to broadly triangular, dark green, glabrous; rachises grooved, with raised centre and prominent lateral ridges, scaly. Primary pinnae stalked and distant; pinnules decurrent, oblong-lanceolate, bluntly toothed or lobed. Sori numerous, slightly sunken, in 2 rows midway between margin and midrib; indusium round and membranous, centre dark, with central stalk; spores blackish. Qld, NSW, Tas. (including Bass Strait islands). New Zealand, South Africa, Central and South America. Occurs in wet shaded forest and in deep fern gullies as an epiphyte

Selaginella spp   Spikemoss. Belongs to an ancient non seeded group of plants called lycophytes and often classed as fern allies.

Selaginella erythropus ‘Sanguinea’, or Ruby Red Club Moss, is a low-growing, leafy Brazilian species featuring a stunning burgundy color on the underside. Its dense clumping habit creates a colorful accent. Thrives in moist conditions with high humidity and moderate to low light. Selaginella erythropus is a species of plant in the Selaginellaceae family, endemic to the Yucatan and Belize to Colombia and was introduced to Tanzania. It grows up to 30–40 cm in height with a bright red main stem. It likes plentiful water and humidity and enjoys temperatures of 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit (10-24 degrees Celsius). The top of the plant is green and the undersides of the leaves are a bright, ruby red color. It is a species of spike moss (also known as clubmoss) which is related to the fern family. Spike mosses reproduce through spores just like ferns do.

Selaginella uncinata, (Blue or Peacock Spikemoss), is a very attractive form of Selaginella native to China. It is semi-evergreen in nature and has straw colored rambling stems with dimorphic metallic blue leaves. Plants will reach about 6 inches (15 cm) in height and will spread to 2 feet (60 cm) wide. They produce root-like rhizophores along the weak stems and are easily fragmented.  Like other members of the genus Selaginella, common names with the word ‘moss’ and ‘fern’ are misleading; they are part of a quite distant ancestral line belonging to Phylum Lycophyta also called Fern allies.