West Coast Fern Fieldwork 2012, 4 – new, problematic, and interesting species

Along with the Gleichenia and Sticherus, we were targeting a possible new species of Hymenophyllum filmy fern. We also made collections of several ‘problem’ species and other interesting finds.

A possible new species of filmy fern, related to Hymenophyllum flexuosum and Hymenophyllum atrovirens. There are records of this scattered down the West Coast, but it was difficult to re-locate. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

The comb ferns, Schizaea, are very odd looking ferns, but easily overlooked. This one is southern comb fern, Schizaea australis, from near Charleston. Schizaea fistulosa, is similar but taller/longer, and occurs in lower-altitude/more-northern areas. The two can be difficult to distinguish, especially in the northern South Island. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Some authorities treat the small plants at lower right as a distinct species, swamp kiokio (Blechnum minus). Others regard them as part of a variable kiokio (Blechnum novae-zelandiae), big plants of which are at left. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

We found the lycophyte Lycopodiella cernua at a site near Haast, further south than the Okarito limit noted in the literature. Interestingly, this species also occurs in the tropics! Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

The cave spleenwort, Asplenium cimmeriorum, only occurs in limestone areas of the west coasts of both the North and South Islands. It is commonly found at cave entrances. We found a new sub-population in the Charleston Conservation Area. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Cave spleenwort’s distribution based on Te Papa’s collections.

Other blog posts about our West Coast fern fieldwork cover:

What we were doing.

Where we went.

Sticherus (umbrella ferns).

Favourite photos

Animal miscellany.

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