Birds-nest-fern.jpg (25724 bytes)Asplenium australasicum: is known as Birds Nest Fern or Crows Nest. The Birds Nest Fern will develop into a large plant with tussock-like growth. The strap-like spreading fronds have a leathery texture. The midrib, of the fronds, is very prominent and the spores spread across the fronds in parallel lines up to 20 centimetres long. Birds Nest Ferns may be found growing on rocks and trees in rainforests and sometimes wet sclerophyll forests. They may develop into huge plants that often surround the trunk, almost in the canopy, of the host tree. This growth form has given the species its Crows Nest common name. Other ferns and mosses may grow in receptacle formed by the Bird Nest Fern.
Asplenium australasicum is very popular in cultivation. It adapts to life in containers or in the ground. The species is not happy in heavy shade or areas with bad drainage. Propagation is usually by division. Pieces may be cut from the plants rather like slices from a pie. After potting on, the sides of the slice will grow around and join to form a rosette. Propagation is also possible from spores but this requires some skill and lots of patience.
Asplenium australasicum occurs in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Pacific Islands.