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Re: Australian ferns


I am a botanist with the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency - we
issue collecting licences under scientific, educational and other
permitting methods in Queensland, where the majority of these ferns

A great many of these would not be available in the trade, although stock
plants may be held by various specialist nurseries. Many are endangered
or vulnerable, and these are strongly controlled both for collecting
within the State, and for export. Most ferns would require an export
licence from the Australian Government, in addition to the local
collecting permits. The exceptions would be where scientific material was
being exchanged between CITES-licenced organisations and then only for
non-CITES-listed species. In addition, you may very well need a
phyto-sanitary certificate for any living plant material, I'm not sure if
this includes spores.

The Queensland Tassel ferns are very strongly controlled - most are
vulnerable, a couple endangered, and one or two (H. phlegmaria and
phlegmarioides, for example) are Rare. Almost all the epiphytes are being
propagated by cuttings, under licence, and are becoming quite widely
available at local plant outlets.

You can absolutely forget about Huperzia dalhousiana, the blue tassel
fern, which before Cyclone Larry hit the north a few weeks ago was known
from perhaps 9 specimens over a 1000km range; now it may very well be
half that. It is specifically covered in Qld legislation as being illegal
to grow!

You may like to contact the Qld EPA web site on www.epa.qld.gov.au and
check out the one-stop permitting. Try the EcoAccess tab across the top
of the screen, and then choose "Plants and Animals". An email to the
staff there may help you in your enquiries.

The Australian Government web site at www.deh.gov.au also would provide
helpful information, including permitting under CITES and export permits.

Platycerium veitchii and P. bifurcatum are controlled for sale even by
amateurs, and I think spores would be your only suitable export method.
All 4 Australian stag- and elk-horns are being grown in USA as far as I
know, plus a few hybrids.

You are welcome to try spores of Schizaea (some incl. S. dichotoma & S.
bifida are widespread and common), Tmesipteris (all are protected
plants), Ophioglossum and Botrychium species (some are quite common),
Lycopodiella cernua (very common in coastal swamps & sandy areas),
Helminthostachys zeylanica (relatively common across northern Australia)
because as far as I am aware, none of these are amenable to spore

Leptopteris fraseri is quite uncommon and all populations are within
protected areas - spores are green and short-lived so I doubt would
survive trip to USA.

Not sure what Teratophyllum aculeatum is, try T. brightiae -again very
uncommon, restricted pretty much to protected areas.

I've added some other notes below...I hope I don't come across as too
negative but I strongly advise against export of most of these as living


At 01:46 AM 2/04/2006, Wayne+Svetlana wrote:

  My wife and I will visit Australia for 2 months in Aug-Oct 2007. I
  was the AFS spore exchange manager for 5 yrs and my ultimate goal is
  to share these ferns or spores with other competent fern lovers. I
  love primitive ferns and would like to legally collect some ferns and
  their allies listed below. I love these plants and wouldn't dream of
  harming and native populations. Are there any Aussies that would be
  willing to help me in this endeavor. I would pay all expenses
  involved plus something for your trouble. I was the AFS spore
  exchange manager for 5 yrs and my ultimate goal is to share these
  ferns or spores with other competent fern lovers.

  Collect as plants:

  >Angiopteris Evecta     >> a weed on one of the Hawaiian Islands!
  Spores would probably be the way to go, if you could source them
  Marattia Salcinia       >> also can be grown from spore - not in
  Australia - this is the New Zealand species
  Marattia oreades         >> as above - this is the Australian species

  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p274.jpg>Phylloglossum

  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p292.jpg>Todea barbara
  >> green spores so difficult to transport & keep spores alive.

  Dipteris conjugata      >> quite uncommon in Australia - my view was
  that it resents cultivation, although a colleague of mine says it
  grows easily (in Papua New Guinea) on big beds of red clay - no
  fertiliser allowed and no competition from other species.

  Collect as cuttings:

  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p181.jpg>Huperzia
  australiana - southern Australia
  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p241.jpg>Huperzia
  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p242.jpg>Huperzia
  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p34.jpg>Huperzia varia

  Huperzia prolifera *** relatively common in Qld, but only recently
  has this been recognised. Many plants assigned to H. varia in the
  past are actually H. prolifera.

  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p244.jpg>Hymenophyllum
  flabellatum >> widespread filmy fern

  Collect as cuttings of sporophyll

  *** I doubt you will be able to export any of these as living plants

  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p252.jpg>Lycopodium
  < http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p253.jpg>Lycopodium
  Lycopodiella limosa              >> very rare - restricted to eastern
  Cape York Peninsula.
  Lycopodium volubile              >> only recorded once in Australia
  (1909/1910) now presumed extinct
  Selaginella longipinna  >> widespread and common in the north of
  Selaginella australiensis        >> widespread and common in the
  north of Queensland
  Selaginella uliginosa            >> common - but unlikely to grow
  from spores
  Lycopodium squarrosum            >> see notes above
  Lycopodium serpentinum  ?? southern Australia
  Lycopodium proliferum
  Lycopodium polytrichoides
  Lycopodium phlegmarioides
  Lycopodium phlegmaria
  Lycopodium myrtifolium  >> this is same as H. varia
  Lycopodium fastigiatum  >> southern Australia
  Lycopodium dalhousianum >> no way! See notes above
  Lycopodiella cernuum             >> see above
  Lycopodium carinatum

  Elaphoglossum queenslandicum    >> neither Elaphoglossum is common,
  but I guess spores would be OK. Most populations would be on
  Protected reserves.
  Elaphoglossum callifolium

  Collected as spores:

  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p217.jpg>Christella
  dentata >> widespread and common, a weed of suburbia in eastern
  Queensland, and has colonised the Caribbean and Florida.

Can't imagine you will have much luck with Isoetes - many are rare, and
probably subject to State Regulations, except in Qld where we have only 5
or 6 official collections for 3 species!If you find one in Qld I'd love
to see it!

  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p246.jpg>Isoetes
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p246.jpg>Isoetes
  >Isoetes brevicula
  >Isoetes elatior
  >Isoetes humilior
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p95.jpg>Marsilea
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p273.jpg>Ophioglossum
  >lusitanicum subsp. coriaceum
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p77.jpg>Ophioglossum
  >Ophioglossum polyphyllum
  >Ophioglossum reticulatum
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p280.jpg>Platycerium
  >Platycerium bifurcatum
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p282.jpg>Platyzoma
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p288.jpg>Schizaea
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p289.jpg>Schizaea
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p288.jpg>Schizaea
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p169.jpg>Sticherus
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p63.jpg>Tmesipterus
  >Tmesipteris lanceolata

Trichomanes mindorense: not sure why you picked on this one - one of the
rarer filmy ferns in Queensland - there are many more that are much more
widely distributed, especially in southern Australia. But as all are
green spored, I would doubt their viability. And I suspect getting
rhizome material out of Australia would be quite difficult.

  >Trichomanes mindorense
  >< http://www.anbg.gov.au/projects/fern/images/p293.jpg>Vittaria

  >Psilotum complanatum   >> A high epiphyte in Northern Australia, not
  very easy to obtain. Spores impossible to grow.
  >Bolbitis quoyana       >> fairly common in north-eastern QLd
  (wet-tropics) - spores would be a goer here.
  >Christella parasitica >> relatively uncommon but weedy plant of
  pastures and rainforest margins in wetter areas of eastern Queensland
  from NSW border (30deg S) right up to the Wet tropics at 15-17 deg S.

  >Leptopteris fraseri >> see comment above
  >Helminthostachys Zeylanica >> ditto

  >Sphaerocionium lyallii     >> why would you want this? Rare filmy
  fern - I would suggest its lifespan in captivity would be shorter
  than a gnat!

  >Belvisia mucronata     >> not particularly common but easy to grow -
  spores would be the way to go here.

  >Teratophyllum brightiae >> forget it!
  >Botrychium australe     >> see above
  >Dictymia brownii       >> OK - spores would be easy
  >Pleurosorus rutifolius  >> probably OK, but quite hard to find. Only
  likes drier country W of the Great Dividing Range of eastern
  Australia and spends much of its time shrivelled up.

  >Teratophyllum aculeatum >> see above.

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Peter Bostock, Principal Botanist, Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane,
pbostock@ozemail.com.au (also peter.bostock@epa.qld.gov.au)

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