Topic: Common New Zealand ferns
Is part of topic Ferns
New Zealand is home to nearly 200 species of native ferns. If you are interested in learning more about New Zealand's ferns, here is a list of 13 to begin with.
Read more about this topic
Selaginella kraussiana. Ground-hugging, smothering lycophyte, whose small, pale-green leaves give its stems a feathery look. The spores are produced in inconspicuous cones. A widespread, nuisance-weed in New Zealand.
tarawera, Pellaea rotundifolia. Small ground fern, with once-divided, dark green fronds. The sori are on the margins. Most common in drier, fertile habitats.
Adiantum cunninghamii. Smallish ground fern. The fronds are hairless, and have oblong frond segments that are bluish-green underneath. Occurs in lowland forest throughout, often on banks, and is especially common on limestone.
drooping filmy fern
piripiri, irirangi, Hymenophyllum demissum. Small fern with dull, translucent fronds, creeping on the ground or on tree trunks. One of the most common filmy ferns in New Zealand, and the most likely to be extensively growing on the ground.
Tmesipteris elongata. Usually epiphytic on the trunks of tree ferns, with pendulous stems and spirally arranged leaves. The paired sporangia are rounded. Occurs throughout.
hen & chickens fern
manamana, Asplenium bulbiferum. Medium to largish ground fern, with narrow, dull fronds. Easily distinguished by the numerous bulbils, or ‘chickens’, borne on the fronds’ upperside. Found in wet habitats.
kowaowao, paraharaha, Microsorum pustulatum. Smallish fern that creeps extensively, either along the ground or up tree trunks. The frond is glossy lime-green, with several pairs of lobes, and the sori are orange, circular, and unprotected.
Blechnum novae-zelandiae. A medium to large ground fern, with once-divided fronds, and markedly different sterile and fertile fronds. Often seen on roadside banks.
prickly shield fern
püniu, Polystichum vestitum. A medium sized ground fern, with dark green, narrow, tough fronds. Prominently scaly. Usually in colder habitats.
ponga, Cyathea dealbata. Tree fern whose fronds have white undersides. Has scales rather than hairs. Most common in drier, warmer, lighter forest. Absent from the South Island's south-west.
single crape fern
heruheru, Leptopteris hymenophylloides. Medium-sized ground fern, with distinctive translucent fronds. The sporangia are scattered on the undersides of fronds, rather than being aggregated into distinct patches.
Pteris macilenta. Medium-sized ground fern. The frond is pale green, generally thin, has netted veins, and is distinctively fractal. The sori are on the margins. Usually occurs within forest.
rough tree fern, tirawa, Dicksonia squarrosa. Tree fern with dark-brown and hairy frond-stalks, and coarse-textured fronds. The orange dead fronds give a scruffy appearance. Occurs in wet habitats.
Related topics 4
Te Papa's list of New Zealand ferns and lycophytes
A checklist of the names in use by Te Papa for New Zealand's indigenous and adventive ferns and lycophytes.
Research on ferns
People: Patrick Brownsey and Leon Perrie.
New Zealand tree ferns
New Zealand is home to ten species in the tree fern genera Cyathea and Dicksonia.
Origins of New Zealand's ferns
About 90 of the fern species in New Zealand are also indigenous to south-east Australia.