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NZ Plants

Christella dentata - soft fern

Family name: Thelypteridaceae

Christella dentata has a creeping stem (rhizome) bearing divided, pale green tapering fronds covered with soft hairs and with the lower primary leaflets much shorter than middle ones. Primary leaflets are divided almost half way to the midrib to form blunt rounded segments.

Found on the Kermadec Islands and the upper portion of the North Island south to Rotorua.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: creeping stem bearing fronds up to 1.5 m

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: stipe brown with hairs

Sporangium location: lower frond surface

Frond shape: elliptical

Sporangium position: in one row either side of midrib

Frond blade: once divided (pinnate)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: thin, with soft glandular and bristly hairs

Sorus shape: circular

Leaflets: divided half way to midrib into rounded segments

Sorus covering: heart to kidney shaped indusium with hairs