Saturday, May 16, 2009

King Ferns at Ella Bay

There are giants at Ella Bay!

They don’t eat small children or destroy whole villages and they’re no good at climbing beanstalks either.

These giants are botanical giants and of course I’m talking about the King Fern Angiopteris evecta. Satori’s environmental consultants have not mentioned this amazing plant once as it’s not a listed species in Queensland.
Jeff the entomologist and Angiopteris evecta

On a recent walk my friend Jeff was kind enough to pose with one of these giants to give you all an idea of the size of these ferns. Thanks Jeff.
You can see this plant growing along the road to Ella Bay and indeed the developer’s road making/widening proposal threatens to destroy these plants so today I declare myself an Angiopteris advocate!

As I mentioned earlier this plant is not a listed species in Queensland however, it was believed to be extinct in New South Wales until a single plant was located in 1978. It is classed as endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The Northern Territory lists it as vulnerable as it is unlikely that more than 250 individuals exist at any one locality.

What makes this plant special?

Well it’s ancient and very similar fossil ferns have been found that are over 300 million years old. Yep, that’s right – before dinosaurs.

They have the largest fronds of any fern in the world, the plant in my photograph with Jeff has fronds over 20 feet long. King Ferns are restricted to rainforest habitats, often near watercourses, to ensure they have year round moisture to keep their massive fronds upright and turgid.

Well, now you can say you have met The King! I hope Satori’s bulldozers can be kept away from these magnificent forest giants with decisive action from Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett AM MP.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails