Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia: is known as the
Rock Fern. We tend to think of ferns inhabiting moist and sheltered areas. The
Rock Fern is an exception. This hardy fern grows in dry, well-drained areas,
often in full sun. One of its favourite habitats is growing between rocks
(hence its common name). In very dry times plants tend to shrivel. The ferns
bounce back after just a few millimetres of rain.
The Rock Fern grows in clumps and has dull green, much-divided fronds. Cheilanthes
austrotenuifolia is very common at Yallaroo and has colonised rocky
outcrops. The species is also common in our regenerating grassland and
Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia has wide distribution. The Rock Fern is found in most Australian states
as well as New Zealand and South-East Asia.
The Rock Fern would grace rockeries and native cottage gardens.
Propagation is by division.
The species was known as Cheilanthes tenuifolia.
Rock Fern is said to be poisonous to stock but we feel that grazing animals
would have to eat large quantities before suffering any ill effects.