Deparia petersenii subsp. congrua
Athyrium japonicum sensu Allan (1961); Deparia tenuifolia (Kirk) M.Kato; Diplazium congruum Brack.; Diplazium japonicum sensu Cheeseman; Athyrium congruum (Brack.) Copel.; Athyrium japonicum sensu Dobbie
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 = 164
Current conservation status
The conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. New Zealand: Kermadec Islands (Raoul Island), North and South Islands (common from Te Paki to the southern Waikato and Bay of Plenty, thence less common but evidently expanding its range southwards; current southern limit is in the vicinity of Westport). Also Australia (eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria), Malesia, Polynesia and Norfolk Island.
Coastal to lowland (rarely montane). A weedy fern of river flats, distrubed forest, forest margins, rough pasture, willow car and urban situations. Prefers damp ground and/or semi-shade to heavy shade.
Terrestrial unpleasantly aromatic ferns. Rhizome long-creeping, c.5 mm diameter, scaly; scales brown, basifixed, thin, broad, entire and acuminate. Fronds crowded. Stipe 20-500 mm long, base scaly and swollen, faintly winged. Lamina 150-500 × 60-250 mm, yellow-green to green, 2-3-pinnate, groove of rachis not open at junctions with grooves of pinna midribs, brittle, pinnatifid and tapered apically;lower pinnae stalked; upper pinnae sessile; longest pinnae central, 70-100 × 15-25 mm, lobed almost to the veins. Lobes elliptic to ovate,oblong or broadly obtuse; apical part of pinnae drawn out into a lobed, tapered cauda; main rachis with numerous septate hairs; lower surface scaly; veins simple or forked. Sori elongate, medial on the veins, often paired back to back; indusium thin, entire
Deparia petersenii subsp. congrua is a distinctive and easily recognised fern which has little resemblance to other New Zealand ferns (indigenous and naturalised). The long creeping rhizomatous habit, brittle yellow-green to dark green scaly fronds, which have an unpleasant aroma when bruised and/or crushed are diagnostic. It is sometimes confused with Diplazium australe, with which it often grows, partly because both Diplazium and Deparia have sori arranged in a herring bone pattern, a pattern which may also lead to confusion with Asplenium. Both Deparia and Diplazium differ from Asplenium by the sori which are pairs back-to-back along the veins. Diplazium differs from Deparia by its much larger, more divided, glabrous fronds and by the groove of the rachis which is open and confluent with the grooves of the pinna midribs (rather than not open at junctions with grooves of pinna midribs). Deparia petersenii is sometimes divided into two species, the indigenous D. petersenii subsp. congrua and endemic D. tenuifolia, the chief difference being that D. tenuifolia has a mostly tripinnate frond, primary pinnae which are ovate and secondary pinnae which are oblong and supposedly a darker green colour. However numerous gradations occur, including plants with bipinnate and tripinnate fronds on the same rhizome, and in cultivation D. tenuifolia type plants have provided unstable. On current evidence there seems no valid reason to maintain two species though some authors e.g., Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000) have retained both taxa.
Not applicable - spore producing
Not applicable - spore producing
Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
An easily grown fern that is inclined to become weedy and aggressive in most garden situations. Deparia flourishes in a semi-shaded situation, planted in moist, fertile soil. However, it will tolerate a diversity of conditions. In cooler areas it has a semi deciduous habit, dying down in winter and resprouting in spring. It is very easily grown from the division of established plants and also by spore, and is often found as a natural arrival in suitable gardens - at least in the northern part of its New Zealand range.
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from mainline and specialist native plant nurseries. Often a nursery plant pot contaminant.
Deparia petersenii subsp. congrua is probably a relatively recent natural arrival that is still expanding its range. The common bipinnate form was first noted in the New Zealands flora in 1906 however the unstable tripinnate form, sometimes treated as a distinct species (D. tenuifolia) was first noted in New Zealand in the 1870s suggesting that there may have been two independent dispersal events, or that there is an endemic element to this species in New Zealand.
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
Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman
Jones, D.L. 1998: Athyriaceae. Pp. 418-429. Flora of Australia 48. Australian Biological Resources Study, CSIRO Canberra
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
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Deparia petersenii subsp. congrua Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/deparia-petersenii-subsp-congrua/ (Date website was queried)