Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Lygodium articulatum - mākaka, mangemange, climbing fern

Family Lygodiaceae

Lygodium articulatum is a fern with a creeping stem (rhizome) found on the forest floor. The frond midrib (rachis) has a prolonged period of growth as it climbs around adjacent vegetation reaching many metres in length, forming forked sterile and fertile leaflets at intervals.  Fertile leaflets bear several spikes each containing of a row of sporangia within pouch-like folds of the leaflet margin.

An endemic species found in the upper half of the North Island in open, lowland forest.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stem with fronds up to10 m

Frond appearance: reduced leaflet blade with rows (spikes) of marginal pouch-like segments

Frond stalk, midrib: green

Sporangium location: on spikes

Frond shape: linear

Sporangium position: leaflet margin

Frond blade: 2-3-pinnate (divided 2-3x into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: smooth

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: oblong with smooth margin   

Sorus covering: enrolled leaflet margin (pouch)