Botrychium biforme


Botrychium: bunch of grapes; from the Greek botrus; grape like spore clusters
biforme: two forms or shapes of leaves, from the Latin bi and formis

Common Name(s)

fine-leaved parsley fern

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Botrychium biforme Colenso



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Botrychium australe var. millefolium (Milde) Prantl; Botrychium cicutarium var. dissectum Hook.f.; Botrychium ternatum var. dissectum G.M.Thomson; Botrychium dissectum sensu J.B.Armstr.; Sceptridium biforme (Colenso) Lyon;


Endemic. North and South Islands, from Mt Pirongia south often sporadic but can be locally common


Lowland to alpine. Preferring open ground, short and tall tussock grassland, forest clearings, shrubland, river flats, frsot flats, reverting pasture and seasonally flooded ground. It is often found in deeply shaded sites within tall forest, or under dense thickets of grey scrub or frost flat vegetation.


Stout, fleshy reddish green (bronze) to green plants. Roots thick, fleshy, not ridged or contracted. Sterile laminae 1(-2) stalked, broadly ovate or 5-angled, divided 5-8 times, 30-250 x 30-150 mm, ultimate segments acute, 0.05-0.1 mm wide. Fertile laminae 1(-2) borne on a narrower but longer stalk, fertile portion shorter and narrower than sterile laminae, divided 3-5-times, bearing numerous, spherical, yellow-brown sporangia up to c.10 mm diam.

Similar Taxa

Botrychium australe R.Br. from which B. biforme differs by the absence of ridged, contractile roots, and by the more finely divided sterile fronds whose ultimate segments are 0.1-1 mm wide. B. biforme may be found growing intermixed with B. australe.


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened - however often local and sporadic in its occurrences. This species seems mor etolerant of heavily shaded situations and forested habitats than B. australe, and there doe snot appear to be any suggestion of a decline happening within any part of its range.

Chromosome No.

2n = 90

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).



Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange 6 June 2005. Description from Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).

References and further reading

Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand ferns and allied plants. David Bateman Ltd, Auckland

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 12 Nov 2014