tufted filmy fern
Mecodium pulcherrimum (Colenso) Copel.
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 = 22
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
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart and Auckland Islands (from Te Moehau and Mt Pirongia south).
Lowland to montane (mostly montane in the northern part of its range), in closed forest. Usually epiphytic, rarely found growing on rocks.
Tufted mostly epiphytic fern. Rhizomes erect, short-creeping, sparsely to densely covered in red, bristly hairs. Stipes 30-150 mm long, rather stout, glabrescent; stipes and rachises winged almost to base, wing thickness variable for entire length. Fronds pendulous, pale green, glabrous. Laminae 100-400(-600) × 40-150 mm. ovate, narrowly elliptic to elliptic, 3-4-pinnate. Ultimate segments oblong, undulose (weakly to strongly so), margins smooth. Sori arising on short branches near the ends of the ultimate segments; many on each primary pinna. Involucre ovoid to ellipsoid; indusial flaps entire.
Easily recognised by the tufted growth habit, large pendulous pale green, glabrous, crinkly (wavy) fronds, and by the smooth margins of the stipe and rachis wing and smooth pinnae margins.
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
pulcherrimum: Very beautiful; from the Latin pulcherrimus
Where to Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (20 April 2011). Description adapted from 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
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 pulcherrimum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/hymenophyllum-pulcherrimum/ (Date website was queried)