Histiopteris incisa (Thunb.) J.Sm.

Bat's Wing Fern

Hist. Fil. 295 (1875) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome long, 4–8 mm diam., covered with metallic-shiny, brown, hair-tipped scales, 4–10 mm long. Fronds distant, erect, 60–200 (rarely to 300) cm long, soft to firm, fertile lobes a little narrower than sterile ones. Stipe thick, succulent and whitish blue-green when young; mature stipe relatively thin, long, red-brown or paler, shiny, smooth with a few fine scales near base. Lamina 2–3-pinnate, glabrous, roughly triangular, blue-green to pale green, or yellow-green when exposed. Rachises flattened, particularly at pinnae-junctions, slightly grooved. Pinnae paired, opposite, sessile, distant, with paired, stipule-like basal lobes set at a wide angle adjacent to main rachis; pinnules variously shaped, asymmetrical, broadly oblong to deltoid, bases broad and slightly decurrent, margins entire or slightly crenate, apices blunt; veins prominent, forked several times, connecting veins forming narrow areoles near midveins. Sori submarginal, elongate, not around tips of lobes, protected by pale, membranous, recurved marginal flap.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. All States except WA. New Zealand, southern Africa, South America, West Indies. Common in Victoria, mostly in forested gullies and occasionally swamps, readily colonizing forest track margins and ground disturbed by fallen trees etc.

See also notes under Pteris comans.

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
order Polypodiales
genus Histiopteris
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Histiopteris incisa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Histiopteris incisa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain 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
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
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory