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NZ Plants

Hymenophyllum multifidum - much-divided filmy fern

Filmy fern family: Hymenophyllaceae

Hymenophyllum multifidum is terrestrial or epiphytic filmy fern with long-creeping stems (rhizomes) bearing bright green hairless fronds with distinctive large upright sori. An endemic species found in lowland forest to alpine scrub throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping rhizome with fronds up to 30 cm

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: stalk wiry, hairless sometimes with a wing above; midrib with narrow wing.

Sporangium location: on terminal ends of leaflets

Frond shape: elliptic to triangular

Sporangium position: leaflet margin at 90 degees to plane of frond

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

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: filmy, translucent

Sorus shape: indusium flaps smooth-edged or wavy, fused below into a tube

Leaflets: linear, toothed margin

Sorus covering: indusium flaps smooth-edged or slightly toothed