Seeds of South Australia
Adiantum capillus-veneris (Adiantaceae)
Limestone Maiden-hair
List of species for Adiantum
Click on an image to enlarge it
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [around Blue Lake]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [habitat is stable]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [grows on limestone or sandstone rock on alkaline soils; restricted to soaks; in Anstey Hill; checked by J Quarmby; as of May 2012 questionably native in Census]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Data Deficient   [DD]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [occurs in areas of seepage along cliffs; needs good rainfall; sensitive to salinity; needs more survey work; extremely limited habitat]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Adiantum]
Name derivation:
Adiantum from the Greek 'adiantos' meaning unwetted; referring to the leaves remaining dry when dipped in water. Capillus-veneris from the Latin 'capillus' meaning hair and 'veneris' refers to the goddess Venus; alluding to the delicate fronds.
Found on the tip of the Yorke Peninsula, southern Mount Lofty Ranges, along the Murray River and in the lower South-east in South Australia, growing on limestone in erosion zones, sinkholes and wells. Also found in all mainland states and other countries.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Delicate-looking, drooping fern with distinctive fan-shaped leaf segments and clustered fronds on wiry black stems.  It spreads by means of short, creeping rhizomes covered in small brown scales, which sometimes appear reddish-brown or golden. The fronds are arching and hairless, occasionally with a bluish-green or waxy tinge to the usually pale-green leaves, which are pinnate, with individual leaflets often lobed or toothed along the margins.
Fruit type:
Sori (spores) on the underside margins of the fronds between the lobes.
Seed type:
Very fine spores.
Seed collecting:
Look under the fronds and collect ones with spores and place in a seal paper bags to prevent spores from fulling out.
Seed cleaning:
Leave fronds in the paper bag to dry. The spores will fall off naturally or give the fronds a gentle shake. Use a very fine sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful as the spores are very fine. Store spores in an air tight container in a cool and dry place or in a -20oC freezer.