Pellaea falcata (R.Br.) Fée

Sickle Fern

Mém. Foug. 5: 129 (1850) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome long-creeping; scales narrowly ovate, c. 1.5–2 mm long, dark brown to black with paler borders. Fronds erect, 37–105 cm long. Stipe 10–30 cm long, densely clustered, 5–15 mm apart, stiff, persistent, dark brown; stipe and rachis with dense covering of spreading brown scales and hairs. Lamina 1-pinnate, narrow ovate, with 27–75 pinnae, coriaceous, ±glabrous aside from a few scales on the mid-vein, dark green above, paler beneath. Pinnae sessile or shortly stalked (stalk < 2 mm long), oblong to linear-oblong or ovate, often  falcate, 22–46 mm long, 5–12 mm wide; apex obtuse or acute; base truncate to cordate; margins entire, often undulate; veins largely obscure except mid-vein. Sori continuous in band 1–2 mm wide along margins, reaching almost to apex and base, appearing raised on the upper surface; reflexed margin covering young sori.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also Qld, NSW, Tas. (including Bass Strait islands). New Zealand, Malaysia, India. Occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from alluvial flats in forests, to scrub and open woodland, and among rocks to damp, cleared, rocky slopes. Dull brown rachises persisting among the new fronds are particularly noticeable on open sites.

This is a variable species, at its extremes resembles P. nana and P. calidirupium. See notes under those species.

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: Andre Messina, 2014-05-27
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
order Polypodiales
family Pteridaceae
genus Pellaea
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Pellaea falcata in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pellaea falcata 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
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

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory