Recent rainfall in Plunkett Regional Park (120 mm) over recent weeks (November 2015) has triggered basket fern (Drynaria rigidula) frond growth.
This species loves to grow on rocks where it can escape from fires relatively unscathed. It can tolerate some fire, as long as it’s not too hot and its rhizomes (roots) are left intact.
During dry spells it loses its outer green fronds that break down into humus that is held in the basket by the lower brown nest fronds. The humus provides nutrients to the plant and also assists to hold moisture.
Basket fern is a relatively common species in Queensland but listed as endangered in New South Wales, probably due to it preferring more tropical climates.
It definitely adds some interest to Plunkett with it perched on many sandstone boulders around the park.
Another species of interest which thrives in the park and is fairly dependent on rock formations is Skeleton Fork Fern (Psilotum nudum), pictured below.