Pteris comans G.Forst.

Netted Brake

Fl. Ins. Austr. 79 (1786) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Threat status:Victoria: rare (r)

Rhizome erect, short and stout, covered with brown scales with slender tips. Fronds tufted, erect but arching at tips, 80–160 cm long, relatively soft-textured. Stipe long, stout, brown and purplish towards base, brown to olive-green above. Lamina 3–4-pinnate, broadly triangular, dark green, glabrous except for scattered, short hairs along lower surface of midveins and rachises; rachises often pale and yellowish. Pinnae narrower in fertile frond; primary pinnae distant, lower pinnae asymmetrically triangular to ovate; secondary pinnae triangular-ovate to ovate-oblong, bases decurrent, apices frequently tapering and serrate. Pinnules obliquely oblong, sessile, decurrent, margins broadly and deeply serrate or crenate; veins free towards margin but anastomosing to form series of areoles near midvein. Sori continuous along lateral margins, often extending down decurrent bases but never around tips.

GipP, GGr, HNF, HSF, OtP, OtR, Strz, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also NSW, Qld, Tas. (including King Is.). New Zealand, South Pacific islands. Although restricted in distribution in Victoria, it is often locally abundant and conspicuous, favouring seepages, stream banks and damp flats in shady forests (e.g. Beech Forest in the Otway Range, Dandenong Ranges where rare, Wilsons Promontory, etc.).

The fronds of Pteris comans are very similar to Histiopteris incisa, but the latter has distinctive paired pinnules at the base of each pinna, and the margins are entire or only slightly crenate (never serrate). The lamina of P. comans is also darker in colour, and never has the blue-green to pale green coloration of H. incisa. See also notes under P. tremula.

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
family Pteridaceae
genus Pteris
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Pteris comans in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pteris comans in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Greater Grampians present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Northern Territory
New South Wales