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NZ Plants

Microsorum pustulatum - kowaowao, hound's tongue fern

Family: Polypodiaceae

Microsorum pustulatum subsp. pustulatum is has a fleshy creeping to climbing stem (rhizome) covered in large, blackish-brown scales. Adult fronds are a bright glossy green, very leathery and variably divided. Formerly known as Phymatosorus diversifolius.

Found throughout New Zealand on soil, rocks or as an epiphyte in lowland to montane forest, and in drier scrub and open areas .


Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: erect stem bearing fronds up to 45 cm

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: stipe pale brown, sparsely hairy

Sporangium location: lower frond surface

Frond shape: elliptic to ovate

Sporangium position: in one row either side of midrib

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

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: leathery, glossy with hydathode glands

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: linear, smooth margins with blunt tip

Sorus covering: 0