Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Ptisana salicina - para, king fern

Family: Marattiaceae

Ptisana salicina is a large terrestrial fern with a short stem that in older specimens forms a large woody dome-like mass. Fronds are clasped at their base by a pair of large ear-like lobes and consist of a stout stipe (stalk) which supports a large, heavy and glossy-green blade. Sporangia are fused into boat-shaped groups on the lower surface of leaflets
A species found in the upper half of the North Island in moist lowland forest.
Formerly known as Marattia salicina.


Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: tuberous stem with fronds up to 3 m in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: green stalk with basal ear-like lobe;  midrib green, smooth

Sporangium location: lower frond surface

Frond shape: oval to triangular

Sporangium position: adjacent to leaflet margin

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

Sporangia distribution: groups (sori) fused in pairs

Frond surface: glossy green

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: oblong, smooth margin, tapering to tip   


Juvenile characteristics: frond pinnate (divided 1x)

Sorus covering: 0