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NZ Plants

Adiantum viridescens - maidenhair fern

Family name: Pteridaceae

Adiantum viridescens is a terrestrial fern with short creeping stems (rhizomes). The frond stalk (stipe) and axis (rachis) are covered with hairs and the dark green leaflets are oblong but lack hairs.
An endemic species common in the upper half of the North Island with isolated populations south to the Marlborough Sounds in lowland and coastal forest.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stems with fronds up to 35 cm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: covered with hairs

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: broadly oval

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: smooth 

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: oblong, curved upward at tip; irregularly lobed outer margin; stalk attached at one end

Sorus covering:  kidney-shaped marginal flap