Blechnum whelanii

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Blechnum whelanii


Asia-Tropical: New Guinea present, Australasia: Queensland (Queensland present), Boridi present, Central Papua New Guinea present, Mt Bellenden-Ker present, Mt Lewis present, Owen Stanley Range present, Papua New Guinea present
Malesia: New Guinea (Papua New Guinea: Boridi, Owen Stanley Range, Central Papua New Guinea). Outside Malesia: Australia (Mt Bellenden-Ker and Mt Lewis areas of north-eastern Queensland).


1. Alston (1940) with his original description of B. nigropaleaceum made the observation that this species is “allied to B. whelani F.M.Bailey, but pinnae more truncate at base …” With the benefit of a larger range of specimens of B. whelanii from Australia (NE Queensland) and comparison of this material with the types of B. nigropaleaceum there is an overlapping range of morphological variation. For example Bostock & Guymer 812, NNW of Mt Haig, Qld (NSW) where one specimen has truncate, subpetiolate and petiolate pinna bases on the same frond. A comparable range of variation is to be seen on Carr 13336, Boridi, Papua New Guinea (CANB 59830, paratype). The one difference (which may be a result of the drying history of the specimen) is that some of the Queensland material has deeply pigmented stipes with the rhachis grading to pale stramineous, whereas the Papua New Guinea material has brown to dark brown stipes and rhachis.
2. There is a single collection of what in this paper is recognised as a new species, B. acanthopodum, which may be closely related to B. whelanii (see note 2 under B. acanthopodum).


Alston 1940: p. 109. – In: Nova Guinea n.s. pl. 4, f. 1
F.M.Bailey 2001 – In: Blumea. p 343
T.C.Chambers & P.A.Farrant 1998 – In: Fl. Australia. (see map 348, p. 686 for distribution in NE Australia)
S.B.Andrews 1990: Ferns Queensland: 94. f. 7.4C
F.M.Bailey 1892: Syn. Queensland Fl.