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NZ Plants

Blechnum novae-zelandiae - kiokio, horokio

Hard fern family: Blechnaceae

Blechnum novae-zelandiae is a large fern with short creeping rhizomes bearing large bright green, pendulous sterile fronds. Reaches maximum size in damp areas with a diminished size in drier conditions where young growth is often orange to deep red. The erect, fertile fronds have leaflets greatly reduced in width which curl and turn black as the spores ripen.
An endemic fern found on the Kermadec Islands and on the North and South Islands reaching maximum size in moist areas.
Formerly known as Blechnum capense.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: an erect stem bearing fronds up to 250 cm in length

Frond appearance: leaflets greatly reduced in width

Frond stalk, midrib: scales present on frond stalk (stipe); scales with dark centres and fine hairs present on stalk and midrib (rachis)

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: elliptic to ovate

Sporangium position: leaflet margin

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

Sporangium distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: leathery

Sorus shape: linear, often running together

Leaflets: oblong, margins finely toothed, attached by a short stalk or along their base (adnate)

Sorus covering: linear covering (indusium) opening toward midrib