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Information about Australia's flora - Ferns of Australia and PNG
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The Australian National Herbarium Pteridophyte Collection

The Australian National Herbarium (CANB) has a large collection of Australian and regional ferns and their allies. There are significant collections from southeastern Australian and from the CSIRO Land Use Surveys in Papua New Guinea and northern Australia in the 1960s and 1970s. Papua New Guinea taxa are well represented with many modern exchange specimens from the Papua New Guinea National Herbarium and Department of Forests.

The system of genera and families by which the collection is curated is more or less that used in the Flora of Australia, volume 48. For the placement of non Australian families and genera see R.K. Brummitt (1992), Vascular Plant Families and Genera. The higher level taxonomy used in the herbarium is basically that of Brummitt, modified in places by the treatments used in the Flora of Australia volume 48.

The general principle of arrangement is alphabetical, with species arranged alphabetically within genera, genera alphabetically within families and the families themselves arranged in alphabetic order. The fern allies are stored at the beinning of the collection, followed by the true ferns. Type specimens are stored in special red folders in the vascular plant type collection; bulky material (stipebases, trunk sections, etc.) are stored separately in the shelving with the mounted specimens.

The details of the classification used in the herbarium is being developed for the web and will be updated from time to time as the collection is rearranged to reflect contemporary views on pteridophyte classification and taxonomic relationships.

There are a numer of pteridophyte projects at the ANH. One current project involves collectors flling in the local regional representation of pteridophytes in the Public Reference Herbarium.

A number of other resources are being prepared for the web.