Calochlaena dubia (R.Br.) M.D.Turner & R.A.White

Common Ground-fern

Amer. Fern J. 78: 92 (1988) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Rhizome branched, 0.5–2 cm diam., covered with red-brown and silver-grey hairs. Fronds 2–8 cm apart, erect with drooping tips, firm textured, 30–160 cm long. Stipe long, with wide and shallow groove, stiff, straw-coloured but brown and slightly rough towards the thick base, covered in red-brown hairs. Lamina 3–4-pinnate, triangular, often yellow-green, almost glabrous or finely hairy; hairs fine, colourless, denser on lower surface, particularly along veins and rachises. Rachises pale and often mottled with brown, with wide and shallow groove on upper surface. Pinnae subopposite to alternate, shortly stalked, well-spaced along rachis; pinnules deeply lobed, narrow with obliquely decurrent bases (forming green wing along rachis); veins sunken and free, one per lobule. Sori as for family, inner membranous indusium obscure when sorus mature.

CVU, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, MonT, NIS, OtP, OtR, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WaP, WPro. Also Qld, NSW, Tas. Found in rainforest, open eucalypt forest or in sheltered, open areas where large, almost pure stands can be formed.

The curled tips of developing fronds are bright green and covered in fine, colourless to fawn hairs. Developing frond tips of Pteridium esculentum, which can grow together with C. dubia, are red-brown due to a covering of coloured hairs. In both species, the young coiled frond is coarse and fleshy. In a few populations of C. dubia the stipes are quite reddened and the fronds dark green; fertile fronds should be examined to distinguish such populations from Dennstaedtia davallioides. Until recently, this fern was widely known as Culcita dubia. The subgenus Calochlaena of Culcita, which included C. dubia, has been now raised to generic rank based on a range of features including shoot anatomy, soral and spore morphology and chromosome numbers.

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: Frank Udovicic, 2014-06-06
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Distribution map


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

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory