Calochlaena dubia

Common name: 

Rainbow Fern

Distribution (from Flora of Victoria):

Wannon, Grampians, Midlands, Victorian Volcanic Plain, Otway Plain, Otway Range, Eastern Highlands, Gippsland Plain, Gippsland Highlands, Wilsons Promontory, East Gippsland (DEJKNPRSTVWZ) also Qld, NSW, Tas

Map - Australia's Virtual Herbarium

Distribution and ecological preference at Wilsons Promontory (if known):

Found north of Darby River in dry forests on open slopes and boulder fields1

Flower description:



Ground fern with creeping rhizome with fronds to 160 cm long1,2

Distinguishing characteristics (within family/genus):

Can be mistaken for Pteridium esculentum, however C. dubia has a longer stalk, narrower, lighter pinnules and sori are not covered by rolled margins1

Image of Calochlaena dubia
Image of Calochlaena dubia Image: Daniel Ohlsen
Image of Calochlaena dubia Image: Daniel Ohlsen
Conservation status:

Not threatened


1 Meagher, D. and Kohout, M. (2001). “A field guide to Wilsons Promontory”. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic.
2 Walsh, N. G. and Entwisle, T. J. “Flora of Victoria”, volumes 2 (1994), 3 (1996) and 4 (1999). Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria