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NZ Plants

Leptolepia novae-zelandiae

Family: Dennstaedtiaceae

Leptolepia novae-zelandiae is distinctive for its large, broad-oval, hairy fronds which are delicately divided into a distinct lace-like pattern. Frond stipe (stalk) and rachis (midrib) is reddish to brown.
An endemic fern found throughout New Zealand in cool, damp forest.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping rhizome with fronds up to 1 m in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile fronds

Frond stalk, midrib: red-brown, scattered hairs

Sporangium location: lower frond surface

Frond shape:  broadly ovate

Sporangium position: leaflet margin

Frond blade: 3-4-pinnate (divided up to 4x  into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: sparsely hairy

Sorus shape: round to oval

Leaflets: narrowly elliptic and sharply pointed   

Sorus covering: reflexed leaflet margin on the outer side and a flap on the inner side.