Cheilanthes distans (R.Br.) Mett.

Bristly Cloak-fern

Abh. Senckenberg. Naturf. Ges. 3: 69 (1859) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome short, semi-erect or horizontal; scales narrow and tapering, dark with paler margins, shiny. Fronds clustered near tip of rhizome, stiffly erect, usually small; fertile fronds 3–30 cm tall, 1–2 cm wide at broadest point. Stipe shorter than lamina, slender, dark brown, densely scaly when young. Lamina narrowly oblong, 2-pinnate, dull and dark green; rachis brown, shiny, moderately to densely covered with pale scales. Pinnae usually well separated along rachis, short; pinnules shallowly lobed, blunt; lower surface moderately to densely clad in pale, flat scales, 2–3 mm long, with fine tips; upper surface with or without scattered, long, white hairs. Sori protected by reflexed margins of shallow lobes; spores dark brown and spherical.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Gold, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, SnM, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also WA, SA, Qld, NSW (including Lord Howe Is.), ACT, Tas, Norfolk Is. New Zealand, New Caledonia. Grows in crevices of rocky outcrops or on exposed rocky hills in inland regions (e.g. Bendigo, upper Snowy and Macalister Rivers, Buchan and Corryong areas), but uncommon. Not as tolerant of desiccation as Cheilanthes lasiophylla.

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.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-12-13
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
order Polypodiales
family Pteridaceae
genus Cheilanthes
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Cheilanthes distans in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cheilanthes distans in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory