Brisbane Rainforest Action & Information Network

Asplenium attenuatum (ASPLENIACEAE); Simple Spleenwort

Photo: Robert Whyte Mt Nebo
A fern often found growing on rocks in shady places or gullies in rainforest, sometimes epiphytic on trees, north from the lower Blue Mountains, NSW.

Semi-erect, spreading dull-green fronds to 35cm in length take the form of a rosette. Small plantlets frequently develop in abundance near the acute tips, sometimes resulting in large groups of plants joined together.

It is a rather variable species, particularly in the degree of lobing, and a number of distinct forms have been named. Varieties presently recognized are A. attenuatum var. attenuatum, with the lower third of the lamina lobed or the base pinnate, and A. attenuatum var. indivisum, with a simple lamina throughout. Previously recognized forms were var. schneideri, var. multilobum and A. paleaceum var. prenticei, but these are now thought to be of hybrid origin.

Narrow, more or less linear sori to 15mm in length adorn the lower surface when plants are fertile.

Despite being very slow-growing, plants are easy to grow in pots.