Bracken Fern

Description

Pteridium esculentum belongs to the family of Dennstaedtiaceae. It is perennial, robust plant that spreads by underground rhizomes. It is the most widespread of the four Pteridium species found in Australia. It grows in a wide range of habitats from coastal to inland areas including forests, dunes, heathlands and cleared land.

 

Its value in the conservation of biodiversity

• ‘key’ or ‘characteristic species’ of many ecosystems in Victoria

• long-lived and competitive native plant

• suppresses weeds, as it develops a dense and competitive ground layer

• controls erosion

• provides shelter, food and breeding habitat for wildlife

 

bracken fern spores
Bracken spores along the leaf margins.

Problems with its propagation

• sporulation is a rare event

• usually only small amounts of spores produced

• vegetative propagation via rhizome is slow

 

 

Use of plant tissue culture (in vitro culture)

Bracken is easy to propagate from spore – but spore production is a rare event. Through the use of plant tissue culture we have been successful in propagating bracken on a large scale. A small amount of spores as starting material is sufficient to produce thousands of plants.

Our plants originate from hundreds or thousands of spores, thus are NOT clonal to assure the plants carry the genetic diversity desired for revegetation.

Propagation of bracken prothallus in vitro
Propagation of bracken prothallus in vitro
bracken from tissue culture
Bracken derived from plant tissue culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The issue of provenance

At this moment, there are several populations in culture. For projects outside of Victoria no plants can be supplied to due the unknown risks of introducing non-local genetic material, unless you provide spores from your own collections. We hope for your understanding.

 

Field planting

The first 200 bracken plants derived from tissue culture were planted out by Melbourne Water in Frankston and Montrose (Vic) in autumn 2013 to improve biodiversity outcomes in their revegetation sites. Survival of pot plants (130 mm pots) after four months was 98% and 100% respectively.

 

Plant Tissue Culture: $AUD TBA

The minimum order qty:500 plants/variety To check availability of tissue culture stock or if you would like to place a forward order, please feel free to contact us.

To view our postage cost for freight anywhere within Australia, please click here. For international freight costs please contact our sales team via our contact us page.