Daintree Region Guide

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PRIMITIVE PLANTs
PRIMITIVE PLANTs
FERNS AT MOSSMAN
FERNS AT MOSSMAN
40 SPECIES ENDEMIC TO THE WET TROPICS
40 SPECIES ENDEMIC TO THE WET TROPICS
large Asplenium nidus
large Asplenium nidus
ancient rainforests
ancient rainforests

Ferns

Updated: 06-Jun-2007

While many of the plants in the rainforest have been around for millions of years, ferns have been around for much longer than that!

The Daintree/Cape Tribulation region is home to over 3,000 plant species including trees, vines, palms, ferns, epiphytes, as well as the world's largest and smallest tree ferns and cycads. Unknown plants and animal species are still being discovered.

Daintree National Park has examples of the most primitive plants and animals in the world, representing major stages in the earth’s evolutionary history.

For example, 13 of the world’s 19 primitive flowering plant families are found within the Daintree National Park, as well as the world’s most primitive pines, cycads, ferns and mosses. Many of these ancient plants provide an insight into the evolution of flowering plants, which began about 120 million years ago.

Ferns first appeared in the fossil record dating back to 325 million years ago. They are one of the earliest vascular plant forms on the planet (plants which circulate water internally) and they preceded the flowering plants, the conifers and even the cycads - all of which have a more advanced means of reproduction.

40 species of ferns are endemic to the Wet Tropics (occur nowhere else) and there are many interesting species but only a few special ones are profiled here.

 

Rainforest Rescue has recently purchased a sixth property in the Daintree Buy Back and Protect Forever Project which has saved the world’s only known site, at the time of purchase, of a species of the Filmy Fern new to science.

 

The Filmy Fern was first discovered in 1954 however the site was lost or destroyed and it was not rediscovered until 1998. The new site of the fern was however on a freehold property threatened with residential development.

The purchase of the property in the Cow bay area of the Daintree has saved the site, however adjacent properties may still be developed increasing the risk of visitation and damage to the fern.


 

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