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NZ Plants

Dicksonia squarrosa - wheki, rough tree fern

Family: Dicksoniaceae

Dicksonia squarrosa is distinguished by its slender trunks with persistent basal portion of frond stalks (rachis) and an untidy crown of harsh fronds. Underground stolons are formed which give rise to new plants resulting in groves of closely-spaced plants. Buds also tend to form on the trunk.  Shedding of old fronds occurs when the stipes break some distance above their point of attachment to the trunk, leaving the surface covered with broken stipes.
An endemic species found throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: slender trunk up to 8 m with fronds up to 3 m in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: hairs

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: elliptic

Sporangium position: leaflet margin

Frond blade: 3-4 pinnate (divided 3-4 x into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: harsh, leathery

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: sterile tapering and pointed; fertile tapering with reflexed margins and tips somewhat rounded

Sorus covering: reflexed margiln and indusium