Biology

Size

  • To 2m high
  • Rhizomes 10-16cm wide
  • About 30cm long
  • Sterile leaves c. 160x60cm
  • Fertile leaves 150cm long

Growth

Very slow growing fern, making a single leaf every 6 months.

Sterile leaves are very long-lived, probably more than 20 years. The fertile leaves live only for one season.

Lifecycle

Ferns produce spores. These spores develop into a single celled, heart-shaped structure called the gametophyte.

On the gametophyte the male and female cells are produced, and the males swim to the females when there is sufficient moisture surrounding the gametophyte.

After fertilisation, the embryo grows out into a sporophyte, the plants that produces the spores, and that we know as a fern.

Life expectancy

Danaea are very long-lived ferns, they can be several centuries old.

They do not like disturbance of their habitat though, and the plants die after the forest that provides shade and protection is cut down.

Reproduction

Reproduction is by spores.

Dispersal

Anemochorous (dispersed by wind).