Pteridium esculentum

Common Name:

Austral Bracken

Distribution (from Flora of Victoria):

All regions except Murray Mallee, Lowan Mallee, Riverina (CDEHJKMNPRSTUVWXYZ) all States
Map - Australasian Virtual Herbarium

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

Can dominate the understory in dry to wet forests and woodlands. Resprouts and spreads vigorously after fire so can dominate the understory of forests that are burnt too frequently 1

Flower Description:



Fern with fronds to 2.5 m long with thick, coarse creeping rhizome 1,2

Distinguishing characteristics (within family/genus):

The most common and widespread fern in Victoria. Distinguished by its coarse, hairy rhizome and rigid, harsh fronds. Grows in a wide range of environments, including dry areas 2


Image: David Meagher

Links to more images:

Atlas of Living Australia MELU

Links to description of this species:

NSW Flora UoQ VicFlora

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