Parablechnum montanum


montanum: From the Latin mons 'mountain', meaning growing on mountains

Common Name(s)

mountain kiokio, Dunedin-Cass blechnum

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


Parablechnum montanum (T.C. Chambers et P.A.Farrant) Gasper et Salino



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



Lomaria procera var. tegmentosa Hombr.; Blechnum montanum T.C.Chambers et P.A.Farrant


Endemic. North, South, Chatham, Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Islands from Mt Pirongia south.


Rhizome short creeping; scales to 12 × 3 mm, linear to lanceolate, acuminate, light reddish brown, sometimes tending to be slightly bicolorous with a somewhat darker central region, entire to finely toothed. Fronds dimorphic, erect, 100-600 × 30-250 mm, widest at or below the middle of the lamina; sterile and fertile fronds similar in length. Stipes 70-450 mm (stipes of fertile fronds often longer than stipes of sterile fronds), slender, usually less than c.3 mm diameter, pale brown or pinkish brown, darkening at base, sometimes darker and blotchy (especially fertile fronds); stipes scaly; scales variable in size, 2-8 × 5-20 mm, but mostly small, appressed, linear, ovate or cordate, pale brown, brown, reddish brown, or "black spot", entire or toothed, sometimes branched at base. Lamina ovate to narrowly deltoid, mid or dark olive green and shiny at maturity, 1-pinnate, 3-20 pairs pinnae. Rachis and costae pale pinkish brown, brown, or reddish brown (often paler for sterile fronds); with moderately dense scales and irregular branched hairs; scales 1-10 × 5-10 mm, mostly inconspicuous, linear, branched or stellate, sometimes appressed; peltate "black spot" scales (especially conspicuous on costae) usually 2-3 × c.1 mm, broadly lanceolate-ovate, with attenuate apices (twisted in dried specimens) and irregular marginal outgrowths, intermixed with pale linear (to 6 mm) and smaller pale dendritic scales. Sterile pinnae 25-140 × 10-20 mm, oblong to lanceolate, often falcate, apices acute to attenuate, usually acuminate and becoming increasingly acute towards the base of the lamina, truncate or rounded-cordate at rachis; shortly petiolate or sub-petiolate at base of lamina becoming basiscopically adnate and decurrent at apex; coriaceous; margins toothed and often markedly crenate; veins simple or once-furcate; small branched or stellate scales often extending on to surface of pinnae; basal pinnae as long as or slightly shorter than middle pinnae, rarely less than half their length, more deflexed, and with more obtuse to rounded apices, auricles and auriculate pinnae bases absent; terminal pinna more elongate. Fertile pinnae 40.0-160.0 × 2.5-5.0 mm, narrow, linear, acuminate, sessile or shortly petiolate at base of lamina, becoming basiscopically adnate and winged towards apex; sori covering underside other than apex; indusium brown, laciniate; spores 42-60 × 23-46 µm.

Similar Taxa

Parablechnum montanum is superficially similar to P. novae-zelandiae in growth habit. From Parablechnum novae-zelandiae P. montanum is distinguished by the narrowly deltoid fronds, absence of auricles, and the pinnae tend to be falcate and upward-pointing. It is more easily confused with P. procerum with which it often grows. Parablechnum montanum differs from P. procerum by bearing the characteristic "black-spot" scales on the abaxial costae, rachis, and stipe. The scales of P. procerum are mostly concolorous, shiny, dark reddish brown, rarely slightly bicolorous with paler margins (though never, ever furnished with a central "black spot")


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh spores and whole plants. transplants well and flourishes in most conditions, though does best when plants in a shaded site and a permanently moist, rich soil . Dislikes humidity and drought but once established is remarkably tolerant.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 56

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Perrie et al. (2014) advocated for a broadened circumscription of Blechnaceae whereby a number of genera traditionally recognized as distinct from Blechnum were merged within it. However, this view has not met with universal acceptance (see Gasper et al. 2016) and does not seem to be followed worldwide (PPG 2016). From a New Zealand perspective the decision to merge Doodia in Blechnum, and rejection of Diploblechnum has not been universally accepted either e.g., Wilcox & Warden (2017), and as such it is considered appropriate to follow world opinion and accept the taxonomy of Gasper et al. (2016) and recommendations of the PPG (2016). See also the comments by Pyner (2017).

Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Parablechnum montanum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=1550 (Date website was queried)


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (7 March 2012). Description adapted Chambers & Farrant (1998)

References and further reading

Chambers, T.C.; Farrant, P.A. 1998: The Blechnum procerum (“capense”) (Blechnaceae) complex in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 36: 1-19.

Gasper, A.L.; de Oliveira Dittrich, V.A.; Smith A.R.; Salino, A. 2016:  A classification for Blechnaceae (Polypodiales: Polypodiopsida): New genera, resurrected names, and combinations. Phytotaxa 275: 191–227.

Perrie, L.R.; Wilson, R.K.; Shepherd, L.D.; Ohlsen, D.J.; Batty, E.L.; Brownsey, P.J.; Bayly, M.J. 2014: Molecular phylogenetics and generic taxonomy of Blechnaceae ferns. Taxon 63(4): 745-758.

PPG 1: The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group 2016: A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 54: 563-603.

Pyner, T. 2017: A new classification of Blechnum. British Pteridological Society. https://ebps.org.uk/new-classification-blechnum/

Wilcox, M.; Warden, J. 2017: Botany of Hillsborough coast bush reserves, Manukau Harbour, Auckland. Auckland Botanical Society Journal 72: 32-46.


This page last updated on 5 Sep 2017