Mecodium flabellatum (Labill.) Copel.; Hymenophyllum nitens 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 = 72
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, North, South (except eastern part of South Island), Stewart, Chatham, Auckland and Antipodes Islands. Also Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania); Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti.
Coastal to montane forest. Often epiphytic, especially on tree fern trunks, but also on shaded or sheltered, damp rocks, cliff faces, and overhanging banks
Rhizome long creeping, wiry, branched, 0.3-0.8 mm diameter, tan-coloured, with opaque villous hairs but tomentose at the stipe junction. Fronds 20-80 mm long, peundulous, rarely suberect. Stipe wiry, flexuose, 8-20 mm long, unwinged, with scattered pale-white or yellow hairs extending along main rachis. Lamina yellow-green, very variable in size and shape, oblong-linear to ovate-lanceolate (dwarfed fronds often broadly deltoid to round), 20-270 × 10-65 mm; primary division pinnate in the lower part, deeply pinnatifid above; pinnae or primary laminal segments oblique, 1-2-pinnatifid, flabellate, ovate or rhombic. Ultimate segments linear, 0.5-2.2 mm wide, glabrous to glabrescent; margins entire, 1-2-cells thick, apex obtuse, occasionally emarginate. Sori numerous; involucre ovate to rotund, bilabiate to below the middle. 0.5-2.0 × 0.5-2.0 mm; base broadly and shallowly cuneate; margins entire; receptacle included or slightly exserted. Description adapted from Bostock & Spokes (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).
Only likely to be confused with the montane to subalpine, much less common endemic Hymenophyllum rufescens, which is a much smaller plant (up to 50 mm long), with deltoid fronds whose pinnae are covered in reddish, long, flexuose hairs. Hymenophyllum flabellatum and H., rufescens are rarely found growing together, occasional intermediates have been found, some of which are suggestive that both species may at times hybridise.
Not applicable - spore producing
Not applicable - spore producing
Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild.
hymenophyllum: Membranous leaf, from the Greek humen and phullon
flabellatum: Fan shaped; from the Latin flabellum; shape of the leaves
Where to Buy
Not commercially available
Fact Sheet Prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (July 2009). Description adapted from Bostock & Spokes (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).
References and further reading
Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman
Bostock, P.D.; Spokes, T.M. 1998: Hymenophyllaceae: Flora of Australia 48: 116-148.
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): Hymenophyllum flabellatum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/hymenophyllum-flabellatum/ (Date website was queried)