Fishbone fern

Nephrolepis cordifolia
Once a popular basket and rockery plant because of its ability to withstand low light and neglect, this plant is naturalised throughout a large proportion of the NSW coast.
Family: Davalliaceae
Origin: North Eastern Australia
Habit: Terrestrial fern that forms dense clumps of upright, arching fronds that resemble fish bones with erect rhizome and slender stolons.
Leaves: Compound fronds with opposite or alternate leaflets, often over lapping at base, to 1m. Leaflets to 6cm long.
Flowers: Nil.
Fruit and Seeds: Spores carried in round, brown clusters (sori) that form in two rows on underside of frond.
Roots: Erect, branching rhizomes above or below ground level, with wiry stolons bearing rounded, hairy tubers.
Dispersal: Spores carried by water, wind and contaminated soil (tyres, earth works, people’s shoes, green waste dumping). Problematic in any damp, shady areas, where it will completely dominate ground cover layer.
Control: Hand pull/dig, bagging all plant parts and removing from site. Foliar spray.
Similar local native species: Rasp Fern Doodia aspera and Sickle Fern Pellaea falcata.
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