Pyrrosia rupestris (R.Br.) Ching

Rock Felt-fern

Bull. Chin. Bot. Soc. 1: 49 (1935) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome long and creeping, branched, wiry, densely scaly; scales pale brown, papery, bases broad (which darken and persist), apices long, pointed, erect. Fronds erect, 1–8 cm long; fertile fronds longer than sterile ones, linear to narrowly spathulate, and with longer stipes; sterile fronds round to broadly obovate; stipe hairy when young. Lamina thick and leathery, covered with stellate hairs when young; upper surface becoming glabrous with age, centre of hairs on lower surface darkening to give overall rusty appearance. Sori oval, crowded (sometimes confluent) on undersurface of narrower fronds.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, HFE, HSF. Qld, NSW. New Guinea. Mostly restricted to East Gippsland but with isolated occurrences in e.g. the Dandenong Ranges and Wilsons Promontory. Epiphytic on range of trees in wet forest, often in sunlit tree tops, but also on fallen logs and along horizontal and vertical fissures in rocks.

On exposed rocks, leaves are tougher and smaller, sometimes tinged with yellow. The thick coating of stellate hairs and specialized water-storage tissue enable this fern to survive severe drought. Fronds may curl up in dry conditions, but recover when moisture is added.

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 Polypodiaceae
genus Pyrrosia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Pyrrosia rupestris in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Pyrrosia rupestris in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Far East present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory