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NZ Plants

Blechnum discolor - piupiu, crown fern

Hard fern family: Blechnaceae

Blechnum discolor has a short woody trunk with slender lateral stems that form new plants. Plants are easily distinguished by their semi-erect crown of large sterile fronds with narrow fertile fronds held stiffly upright in the centre.
An endemic fern of lowland to mountain forest found throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: a short, erect trunk with fronds up to  1.5 m long

Frond appearance: longer and more narrow than sterile fronds, with very narrow leaflets

Frond stalk, midrib: scales present

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Sterile frond shape: narrowly elliptic

Sporangium position: leaflet margin

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

Sporangium distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: leathery, hairs, scales

Sorus shape: in a continuous line either side of midrib

Leaflets: oblong, pointed; attached along leaflet base

Sorus covering: linear indusium opening toward midrib