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NZ Plants

Asplenium bulbiferum - pikopiko, hen and chickens fern, manamana, mouki

Spleenwort family: Aspleniaceae

Asplenium bulbiferum is a terrestrial fern with a short erect stem bearing pale green fronds. A fern easily recognized by the plantlets (bulbils) that form on the upper surface of some fronds. When the frond ages and touches the soil, the plantlets take root and grow into new plants.

Found in moist lowland forest throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: short, erect rhizome with fronds up to 1 m in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: oval to triangular light brown scales

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: elliptic to lanceolate

Sporangium position: close to leaflet margin

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

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: glossy, leathery

Sorus shape: linear

Leaflets: elliptic to ovate, pointed at the tip, deeply toothed and attached by a short stalk or along their base

Sorus covering: linear covering (indusium)  opening toward midrib