Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey was recently contacted about a population near Levin of the very rare Ophioglossum petiolatum. Ophioglossum are odd looking ferns, as befits a common name of “adder’s tongue ferns”. We don’t have a picture of O. petiolatum (stalked adder’s tongue fern), but the related O.
A highlight of our Fijian expedition was a trip to Kadavu, a medium-sized island south of Viti Levu. Kadavu is a priority for Conservation International. Four species of bird occur there and nowhere else in the world. However, little is known of Kadavu’s bryophytes, lichens, and ferns, and it was our
I’m lucky to have escaped the end of the New Zealand winter with a work trip to Fiji. This was as part of a Conservation International-funded, international expedition. The trip was led by Matt von Konrat of Chicago’s Field Museum, with local logistics coordinated by Marika Tuiwawa and Alivereti Naikatini
Here are two striking and (I think) attractive Blechnum hard ferns. Nigrum is Latin for black. Colenso’s hard fern is named after William Colenso – printer, missionary, politician, and naturalist – altogether a very extraordinary person. Biography of William Colenso. The “hard” part of the name comes, I presume, from
We have just described a new species of Tmesipteris fork fern. Fork ferns are odd looking and only distantly related to other ferns. We now recognise five species in New Zealand. There are only about 15 species around the world, with Australasia their strong-hold. The new species has been named
Most hen & chickens ferns in cultivation are the false hen & chickens fern, Asplenium ×lucrosum, rather than Asplenium bulbiferum. The two are easily distinguished. Asplenium ×lucrosum is a sterile hybrid between Asplenium bulbiferum and Asplenium dimorphum. The “×” preceding “lucrosum” indicates it is a hybrid. The two parent species
Chris Horne of the Wellington Botanical Society recently sent me a fern frond they collected on one of their trips. Although the frond is small and lacking the diagnostic reproductive characters, I think it is the introduced holly fern (Cyrtomium falcatum). It looks like the shining spleenwort (Asplenium oblongifolium), but the
The maidenhair spleenwort is a spleenwort fern (Asplenium) that (supposedly) looks like a maidenhair fern (Adiantum, see below). The 600 or so of the world’s spleenworts are characterised by having their reproductive structures in lines away from the margins of their fronds’ undersides. Two maidenhair spleenworts occur in New Zealand.