Psilotum nudum (L.) P.Beauv.

Skeleton Forkfern

Prodr. Aetheogam 106 112 (1805) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Plants terrestrial or growing on rock (in Victoria), erect, compact, 30–60 cm high. Rhizome short, dichotomously branched, with thin rhizoids. Stems rigid, angular, branched repeatedly beyond main stem, dark green when young then yellow to bronze. Scales sparse, spirally arranged on stem-ridges, simple, elongate-deltoid, pointed, without veins, less than 3 mm long, green and fleshy when young then dry and colourless to brown. Synangium 1.5–3 mm diam., thick-walled, yellow; sporophylls produced in place of scales in younger parts of plant; spores released through 3 radial slits. Sporangia Aug.-Oct.

EGU, GGr, Wim. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW, Norfolk Is. New Zealand, Easter Is., tropical parts of all continents. Known only from dry, exposed rock-crevices at Mt Arapiles and in the northern Grampians, with an isolated occurrence in the north of East Gippsland (Ballantyne Hills). In the tropics, plants of this species are epiphytic on trees and palms.

Source: Entwisle, T.J. (1994). Ferns and allied plants (Psilophyta, Lycopodiophyta, Polypodiophyta). In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
class Psilotopsida
order Psilotales
family Psilotaceae
genus Psilotum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Psilotum nudum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Psilotum nudum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Greater Grampians present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales