Square Tassel Fern

Square Tassel Fern

Phlegmariurus tetrastichoides
(Huperzia tetrastichoides)

Conservation Status
Queensland  State: Vulnerable
Australian Government: Vulnerable

Species and status overview
The Square Tassel Fern is an epiphytic fern of upland rainforest trees and is native to North East Queensland. Found from the Daintree south to Hinchinbrook Island and west of Mackay, known populations mostly occur in protected areas.

In our region, the species is known to occur in Eungella National Park and Crediton State Forest.

With tufted, pendulous branches the Square Tassel Fern has attractive hanging ‘tassels’ that have made it attractive to illegal plant collectors. It occurs in upland notophyll vine forest on rainforest trees, from sea level to 1100 m altitude, and covers an area of 19,200 km2.

An epiphyte is a plant that grows non-parasitically upon another plant (such as a tree), and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and sometimes from debris accumulating around it rather than from the structure it is fastened to.

Conservation concerns
Known threats to the Square Tassel Fern include illegal collection and habitat damage caused by land clearing and cyclones.

What can I do?

  • Be aware of the area in which this species exists, and minimise activities that may cause adverse impacts at these sites, such as inappropriate burning or clearing.
  • If found, do not remove the epiphyte from trees

Further Information

Australian Government Department of the Environment

Photo credit Ashley Field, Queensland Herbarium, copyright State of Queensland


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