Microsorum scandens (G.Forst.) Tindale

Fragrant Fern

Amer. Fern J. 50: 241 (1960) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome creeping or climbing, dark green, wiry, 2–5 mm diam., densely scaly; scales brown, erect, shiny, acuminate, persistent. Fronds separated, erect or frequently drooping, variable in size and shape, 15–55 cm long, membranous to herbaceous; stipe relatively short, glabrous with scales clustered at base. Lamina narrowing gradually at base, dull, dark green, variable in shape, simple and linear-lanceolate with pointed tip, or irregularly pinnately lobed with long terminal segment and 4–20 pairs of lateral lobes, each 2–10 cm long; scales sparse or absent on undersurface of central vein, small, narrow. Veins relatively obscure, branching to give usually simple network; areoles enclosing simple or once bifurcate free vein endings; submarginal veins with free endings. Sori round to oval, 1–2.5 mm diam., slightly sunken (showing as raised circle on upper surface), in 2 rows, each nearer margin than midvein.

EGL, EGU, HFE, Strz, WPro. Also Qld, NSW, Norfolk Is. New Zealand. Found in moist and shady forest gullies, on mossy limbs, tree-trunks and tree-ferns, mostly in 'jungles' of East Gippsland, but with occurrences further west in Tarra Valley area and Wilsons Promontory. Occasionally occurring on rocks or as ground cover, particularly on river banks.

Although the rhizomes are usually densely clad with brown, erect scales, they do occasionally lose them. Fresh Microsorum scandens reputedly has a musky odour.

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, 2019-03-01
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
order Polypodiales
family Polypodiaceae
genus Microsorum
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Microsorum scandens in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Microsorum scandens in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Highlands-Far East present native

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales