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NZ Plants

Adiantum aethiopicum - true maidenhair fern

Family: Pteridaceae

Adiantum aethiopicum is a terrestrial fern with a creeping stem (rhizome) bearing large, many-branched and bright green fronds. The frond stalk (stipe) and axis (rachis) are red-brown and leaflets are round or fan-shaped with smooth or shallow-lobed outer margins.
Found on the North Island and less commonly, on the South Island in coastal and lowland areas. .

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stems with fronds up to 40 cm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: scales yellow, transparent, deltoid

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape:  oval to broad and triangular

Sporangium position: in shallow notch beneath reflexed leaflet margin

Frond blade: 2-3 pinnate (divided 2-3x into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: hairless

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: fan-shaped with a central stalk

Sorus covering: kidney-shaped marginal flap