Cystopteris fragilis sensu Allan (1961); Woodsia laetevirens Prent. ex F.M.Bailey; Cystopteris fragilis var. tasmanica (Hook.) Hook.f.; Cystopteris fragilis var. laetevirens (Prent.) C.Chr.; Cystopteris fragilis sensu Hook.f.; Cystopteris novae-zealandiae J.B.Armstr.
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 = 168
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. New Zealand: North and South Islands (in the North Island uncommon from the Kaimai Ranges to the Tararua Ranges including Mt Taranaki; widespread throughout the South Island). Also Australia (New South Wales, eastern Victoria), Tasmania.
Montane to subalpine in northern part of range descending to lower altitudes in the far south. Usually found in crevices on cliff faces, under rock overhangs or in shaded sites amongst boulders. Very occasionally found growing in open grassland or on rocks within beech (Nothofagus spp.) forest.
Terrestrial often lithophytic, deciduous ferns. Rhizome short-creeping, scaly; scales thin, brown, glossy, hair-tipped. Fronds tufted, crowded, 100-430 mm long. Stipes 20-180 mm long, thin, brittle, pale brown, scaly at base, glabrous above. Laminae 20-250 × 15-75 mm wide, yellow-green to green, narrowly ovate, narrowly oblong, oblong-lanceolate, 2-pinnate, membranous, very delicate, glabrous, with widely spaced pinnae. Primary pinnae up to 5-40 × 4-15 mm, ovate to oblong, apices blunt or rounded; those of smaller fronds divided into elliptic secondary pinnae up to 3-10 × 2-6 mm, apices blunt or rounded. Veins free. Sori numerous, rounded, in one row either side of midrib set away from pinna margins, submarginal; indusium ovate, pale delicate, attached at broader end to a vein arching over sori.
Distinguished from the naturalised Cystopteris fragilis by the smaller size, shorter more sparsely divided fronds, and by the shorter primary pinnae with broadly obtuse apices.
Not applicable - spore producing
Not applicable - spore producing
Minute winged spores dispersed by wind (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown in colder areas with best results obtained if it is planted in a shady site, in a humus rich, free draining but moist soil. It benefits from regular applications of lime. Cystopteris tasmanica is deciduous.
cystopteris: From the Greek kystis ‘bag’ and pteris ‘wing’ or ‘fern’, alluding to the sack-like covereing of the sori
tasmanica: Named after Abel Janzoon Tasman (1603-1659) who in the 17th century was the first European to sight Van Dieman’s land (now known as Tasmania)
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (18 January 2012). Description adapted from Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000). Family follows Rothfels et al. (2012).
References and further reading
Jones, D.L. 1998: Athyriaceae. Pp. 418-429. Flora of Australia 48. Australian Biological Resources Study, CSIRO Canberra
Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman.
Rothfels, C.J.; Sundue, M.A.; Kuo, Li-Y.; Larsson, A.; Kato M.; Schuettpelz, E.; Pryer, K.M. 2012: A revised family-leve classification for eupolypod II ferns (Polypodiidae: Polypodiales). Taxon 61(3): 515-533.
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): Cystopteris tasmanica Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/cystopteris-tasmanica/ (Date website was queried)