Hypolepis rugosula (Labill.) J.Sm.

Ruddy Ground-fern

Companion Bot. Mag., new ser., 2: 8 (1846) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome slender, 2–4 mm diam., densely covered by shiny, chestnut-brown hairs. Fronds distant, erect but sometimes drooping towards tips, moderately harsh, 40–150 cm long. Stipe 2–5 mm diam., red-brown at base, chestnut-brown above, covered at base in red-brown hairs, sparsely hairy above, slightly shiny, rough. Lamina mostly 3-pinnate, triangular, 1–1.5 times as long as broad, mid-green to dark green; hairs on both surfaces fine, colourless or red-brown, some short and needle-shaped, others longer, curved or very crooked with pointed or glandular tips. Rachises chestnut-brown at base, yellow-brown at apex, lower surfaces rough; hairs on both surfaces like those on lamina, but also with coarser, crooked hairs having reddish cross-walls, leaving tubercles when shed. Pinnules asymmetrically oblong; bases broad decurrent, forming wing on rachis; margins shallowly serrate or deeply lobed, with lobes acute and often toothed; apices wedge-shaped to acute; veins several per lobe. Sori near sinus of a lobe or tooth, unprotected or partially protected by reflexed marginal flap which is fringed with a few hairs; spores mostly 37–40 µm long and 24–27 µm diam.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. (including King Is. and Flinders Is.). Forms dense thickets along shady forested streams or in more open wetter areas, frequently in ditches or on embankments beside tracks.

The redness of the stipe and rachises separates this species from all but H. amaurorachis. Compared to H. amaurorachis, H. rugosula has larger fronds (which are almost as broad as long), more densely hairy lamina with frequent red-brown hairs, more finely dissected pinnae, and often acutely rather than rounded lobed pinnules. The size of the spores, probably due to the chromosome number differences between the two species, is also distinctive. It is possible that H. amaurorachis and H. rugosula hybridise in the several Victorian localities where they grow together (Brownsey & Chinnock 1987). Also see notes on hybridization under H. muelleri.

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, 2018-12-21
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
order Polypodiales
genus Hypolepis
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Hypolepis rugosula in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Hypolepis rugosula in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

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