Questions? AskAuckland

NZ Plants

Pellaea rotundifolia - tarawera, round-leaved fern, New Zealand cliff brake

Family: Pteridaceae

Pellaea rotundifolia is a terrestrial fern with a creeping stem (rhizome) bearing erect, narrow and leathery fronds with rounded to oblong leaflets.
An endemic fern found from the Three Kings Islands south to Dunedin on the South Island in dry rocky areas.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stems with fronds up to 60 cm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: scales

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape: linear

Sporangium position: on slightly reflexed leaflet margin

Frond blade: once divided (pinnate)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: glossy, leathery

Sorus shape: linear, continuous

Leaflets: rounded to oblong with short stalk; minutely toothed margins, abruptly tapering to a short sharp point

Sorus covering: indusium absent, covered by inrolled leaflet margin