Asplenium australasicum

Asplenium australasicum

Usually called the bird's nest fern, this is plant native to Australia as well as South Pacific regions. It has long evergreen leaves, which can be up to 1.5 m or more in length, with a slightly curved tip, and the leaves grow in a circle, which does vaguely resemble a nest. It enjoys a cool, moist shaded spot with humus-rich soil.

Bird's nest ferns can be seen in found in rainforest environments growing epiphytically on trees and rocks, but they will also grow in the ground and cope well with root competition from trees. A single plant makes a bold, dramatic feature in a garden area devoted to shade-loving plants, such as bromeliads, lacy-looking ferns, Begonia and Clivia. Old brown fronds can be removed at any time. The spore-bodies by which it reproduces can be seen underneath the leaves and self-sown plants often pop up. They apparently enjoy an occasional scattering of Organic Life in the middle of their 'nests'!