Seen up close the fronds, leaves or lamina of the coral fern or Gleichenia polypodioides have straight, narrow leaflets, spaced on the rachis. Each leaflet consists of two opposite arrays of short, sausage-like green, leafy pinnules, neatly positioned in rows that attenuate towards the array tips. The rachis may be branched, hard, wiry and in picture purplish.
The plant often forms dense, even impenetrable thickets, sometimes over large areas. The rhizomatous perennial is an important pioneer in disturbed areas near the coast, a rehabilitation plant and a source of peat (Bean and Johns,2005; Wikipedia).