woolly cloak fern, woolly rock fern
Notholaena distans R.Br.
Vascular – Native
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.
2n = 116
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. Kermadec Islands: Macauley Island. New Zealand: Three Kings, North and South Islands. Also Australia and New Caledonia (mainly easterly from Te Paki south to Banks Peninsula).
Coastal to montane in dry, rocky habitats with only sparse or no vegetation cover. Often found growing with Asplenium flabellifolium, Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi and Pellaea calidirupium. More common in the drier eastern parts of the country.
Rupestral (rarely terrestrial) fern. Fronds up to 350 × 30 mm; stipe red-brown or dark brown, with moderately dense to dense covering of brown scales and some hairs’ rachis densely covered in scales. Lamina linear, 2-pinnate or 2-pinnatifid at base and for most of length; large pinnae triangular-ovate; pinnules oblong- elliptic; margins entire or lobed; adaxially sparsely to moderately densely covered with slender, white hairs and occasional caducous scales, very rarely glabrous; abaxially sparsely to densely covered in scales and sparse white hairs. Spores spherical. granulose and ridged, with echinate ornamentation, 43-79 microns diameter, 16 per sporangium.
Distinguished from Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi with which it often grows by the the stipes, rachises and primary pinnae being copiously covered in scales and hairs rather than glabrous (or nearly so).
N.A. - spore producing
N.A. - spore producing
Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown in a dry sunny site. An excellent pot plant. In ideal conditions it soon self establishes.
cheilanthes: From the Greek kheilos ‘lip’ and anthos ‘flower’, referring to the indusium
distans: Distant (widely spaced female flowers
Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (Updated 3 May 2011). Adapted from Chambers & Farrant (1998)
References and further reading
Chambers, T.C.; Farrant, P.A. 1998: Cheilanthes. Flora of Australia 48: 271-286.
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Cheilanthes distans Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/cheilanthes-distans/ (Date website was queried)