Coral Fern Walk
This path with raised footbridge and decking was established, along with Margaret Adams Bridge, in 1987.
The trail is along the western side of the reservoir, and takes in coral fern (gleichenia microphylla) growing up to 1.5 metres alongside the post-and-rail fencing.
Coral fern grows also around the Margaret Adams Bridge (named after the mayor of Moe at the time), and back to the north, alongside the eastern side of the reservoir.
Scrambling Coral fern
The area in which this type of fern is growing here in the Reserve is good habitat for it. Scrambling coral fern prefers moist, waterlogged soil at its roots and light on its fronds. It is a plant of the heathlands, riparian areas, dry eucalypt forest and woodland habitats and is common down the east coast of Australia.
It grows from rhizomes with each stem growing up to two metres high. The stems are red brown and hairy but smooth out as they mature. Each stem can have many branches. The upper stem branches fork up to three times. Each fork consists of the main red brown stem and has divided fronds on either side. The fronds alternate down the stem and each divided frond is made up of smaller triangular sections. These triangular lobes (pinnules) have a brighter green upper surface and a paler green underneath.
Underneath there are spore clusters, shiny yellow and brown, found in each lobe (pinnule). These occur in groupings of two to five and turn brown when they’re mature. Pouched coral fern (gleichenia dicarpa) has also been seen in the Edward Hunter Heritage Reserve. It has a white undersurface and there are two spore clusters for each pinnule.
During the summer, the coral fern has browned off but when the moisture is constant, as in this time of year, it glows almost acid green when the sun shines.
You can see this green glow in the satellite image from Google maps which shows the lighter green of the coral fern against the darker green of the eucalypt canopy.
Sources and further references
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Tasmania (nd) Notesheet Gleichenia dicarpa http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LJEM-7CV6QX/$FILE/Gleichenia%20dicarpa%20Notesheet.pdf
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Tasmania (nd) Notesheet Gleichenia microphylla http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/LJEM-7CV6UU/$FILE/Gleichenia%20microphylla%20Notesheet.pdf
Wilson, P. G. (2011) Gleichenia microphylla R.Br., PlantNET http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Gleichenia~microphylla
Wilson, P. G. (2011) Gleichenia dicarpa R.Br., PlantNET http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Gleichenia~dicarpa