Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Asplenium flabellifolium - walking fern, necklace fern

Spleenwort family: Aspleniaceae

Please configure the gallery component to point at a folder with pictures.

Asplenium flabellifolium is a terrestrial fern with a short erect stem and small, narrow, almost horizontal fronds. An unusual feature is the extension of the frond midrib (rachis) beyond the uppermost leaflets. When this rachis touches the soil it develops into a new plant hence the common name ‘walking fern’.

Widely distributed in lowland to subalpine areas throughout New Zealand, mostly in dry rocky ground, scoria, open scrub. .

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: short, erect rhizome with fronds up to 250 mm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: small unbranched, glandular hairs

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: linear

Sporangium position: radiating along veins

Frond blade: pinnate (divided 1x into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: hairless

Sorus shape: linear

Leaflets: fan-shaped, toothed on outer margin and attached by a short stalk ; small glandular hairs

Sorus covering: linear covering (indusium)  opening toward midrib