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Re: fragrant ferns


Hi everyone,

there are three Thelypterids in eastern Australia that all have a strong odour particularly for the new fronds. The chemical(s) involved also seems a little irritating to mucous membranes! The odour is faintly 'spicy', somewhat like a cinnamon smell.

The species are Christella parasitica, Amphineuron queenslandicum and Chingia australis. The Chingia is the main one with potential irritating activity, although to my nose they all smell the same, at least when fronds are immature. Young fronds are sticky and presumably the smell arises from glandular hairs commonly found in Thelypteridaceae.

By the way, I think the chemical, or chemicals, involved in Microsorum scandens (and in Dennstaedtia ?punctiloba) is a coumarin, also reponsible for the characteristic smell of new-mown hay. Coumarins are phenolics, related to lignins and tannins.

Regards,

Peter


At 01:10 PM 30-01-03 +1030, you wrote:
Hi Guys

Have been asked for info on fragrant ferns.

I am pushing my memory,

Two are Nephrolepis garotti? and Microsorum scandens and an Adiantum too I
think.

Art there any more ideas or thoughts?

Kindest regards

Keith Rogers
Mannum South Australia

On the web with Keith's Fern Page at
www.lm.net.au/~kerogers/

Supporting the Fern Society of South Australia Inc at
www.chariot.net.au/~saufern/

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Peter Bostock, Senior Botanist, Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane, Australia
pbostock@ozemail.com.au (also peter.bostock@epa.qld.gov.au)
Web http://www.ozemail.com.au/~pbostock (TRANSLAT Bot.
Latin translation program (freeware) available at web site)

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