Tent. Pterid. 83 (1836) APNI
Rhizome stout, covered with dark brown scales and old frond bases; sometimes forming short trunk. Fronds tufted, erect, 25–150 cm long. Stipe short, densely scaly; scales towards base coarse, shining, dark brown with paler borders. Lamina 2-pinnate, narrowly oblong-lanceolate, pinnae length decreasing gradually towards base, dark green when mature, yellow-green when young; rachis scales numerous, narrow, fawn to rust-coloured, silky, frequently twisted, basal margins with fine projections. Bulbils usually present near tip of frond, scaly. Pinnules sometimes with large basal lobe, margins broadly toothed, apex acute; uppermost basal pinnule on each pinna frequently larger than others, aligned parallel to main rachis. Sori spherical, in 2 rows distant from margin; indusium light brown with dark centre, often shed early.
CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Naturalized in the north island of New Zealand. Occurs in a wide range of habitats, from moist shaded areas near sea-level, sheltered gullies and tall mountain forests, to exposed basalt outcrops in the higher alps where locally common.
The yellow-green, sharply reflexed growing tip of young fronds are distinctive in the field. The bulbils, broadly serrate margins, glossy dark brown scales at stipe base, and generally oblong fronds distinguish Polystichum proliferum from P. formosum. However, although the 2 species are usually quite distinct, some P. proliferum variants from East Gippsland can have pale, almost concolorous scales and quite finely pointed teeth. These intermediates are found in the vicinity of both P. proliferum and P. formosum.
|Bioregion||Occurrence status||Establishment means|
|Victorian Volcanic Plain||present||native|
|Central Victorian Uplands||present||native|
|Northern Inland Slopes||present||native|
|East Gippsland Lowlands||present||native|
|East Gippsland Uplands||present||native|
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|