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Flora of Australia Online

Cyathea australis (R.Br.) Domin, Pteridophyta 262 (1929)

Alsophila australis R.Br., Prodr. 158 (1810). T: King's Island, Bass Strait, Tas., 1802, R.Brown Iter Austral. 94 ; lecto: BM, fide M.D.Tindale, Amer. Fern J. 41: 99 (1951); isolecto: K.

Alsophila loddigesii Kunze, Linnaea 20: 7 (1847); Cyathea loddigesii (Kunze) Domin, Pteridophyta 262 (1929). T: loc. ign. , G.Kunze ; lecto: K, fide M.D.Tindale, Amer. Fern J. 41: 98 (1951).

Illustrations: B.D.Duncan & G.Isaac, Ferns & Allied Pl. Victoria, Tasmania & S. Australia 92, fig. 9.2, 93, fig. 9.3A, 94, fig. 9.4A (1986); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 111, fig. 8.1A (1990); T.J.Entwisle in N.G.Walsh & T.J.Entwisle (eds), Fl. Victoria 2: 71, fig. 15 (1994).

Rhizome to c. 12 m tall, 15–40 cm diam., sometimes up to 1.5 m at base. Stipe to 80 cm long; stipe bases with conical spines to 3 mm long, covered with glossy brown scales; scales 2–5 cm long, 1.2–5 mm wide at base, with narrow fragile margins and an apical seta. Lamina to 3.5 m long; largest pinnae c. 50 cm long; a few pairs of lower pinnae progressively reduced, extending sometimes nearly to the base of the stipe (most commonly in Qld); pinnules 10–12 cm long, to 2.5 cm wide, with 1 or more pairs of lobes near base separately attached to costa; lobes ±crenate, some lower ones deeply so; veins mostly forked; larger costal scales flat, elongate, brownish, grading to thin flat ±hyaline scales and to small bullate pale tan scales with setose apices; slender crinkled hairs present on costae and costules. Sori at the forks of veins, exindusiate, with irregularly-shaped small scales around receptacle; paraphyses ±same length as sporangia. Fig. 60A–E, 62D.

Endemic to south-eastern Qld, eastern N.S.W., A.C.T., southern Vic. and Tas.; in northern areas to 1200 m alt. Grows in forest or along forest margins, often very abundant. Map 168.

Qld: Blackdown Tableland, c. 32 km SE of Blackwater, R.J.Henderson 787 et al. (BRI, MEL, NSW); Mt Roberts, McPherson Ra., S.T.Blake 20589 (BRI, NSW). N.S.W.: East Kangaloon, c. 5.6 km NNE of Robertson, R.G.Coveny 870 (BRI, MEL, NSW). A.C.T.: Mt Ainslie, 5km NE of Canberra, H.Streimann 8070 (BRI, CANB). Vic.: Calder Ridge, Otway Ra., R.Melville 3183 (K, MEL, NSW). Tas.: Macquarie Harbour, Philips Is., 20 km SSE of Strahan, J.R.Croft 10394 & M.M.Richardson (CANB, HO, NSW).

Apparently most variable in the northern part of its range where some plants may have slender trunks from which stipe bases may be shed, also ±glaucous undersurface of pinnules and lower pinnae much reduced. Although this is the type species of Alsophila , its spores differ from those of most species accepted in the genus by R.M.Tryon (1970). The name Alsophila loddigesii was based on a small cultivated plant with comparatively broad pinnule lobes.

Since publication of the Flora of Australia the Australian Plant Census treats this taxon as subsp. australis with subsp. norfolkensis noted in Flora of Australia volume 49 as occurring on Norfolk Island.

(Peter D.Bostock (based on an unfinished manuscript by the late R.E.Holttum))

 

Data derived from Flora of Australia Volume 48 (1998), a product of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia