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NZ Plants

Polystichum vestitum - puniu, prickly shield fern

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Polystichum vestitum is a terrestrial fern with an erect stem bearing shiny dark green scaly fronds.
An endemic species found in damp montane regions on the North Island from the Hunua Ranges south to lowland and montane regions on the South Island

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stems with fronds up to 2 m in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: shiny scales with dark brown centres and pale borders

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: narrowly elliptic

Sporangium position: to either side of vein

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

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: leathery

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: stalked, toothed, pointed at tip

Sorus covering: round