Polypodium rugosulum sensu Hook.f.; Polypodium punctatum var. rugosulum sensu G.M.Thomson; Dryopteris punctata sensu Cheeseman; Hypolepis rugosula sensu Dobbie; Polypodium punctatum sensu Cheeseman
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 = 104
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
Endemic. New Zealand: North, South and Chatham Islands. Scarce in the South Island where it is virtually confined to Nelson, Marlborough and North Westland (though with sporadic records extending down the eastern coast to at least Otago).
Coastal to montane. Hypolepis is primarily a forest species, though it also colonises swamps - espeically on the ecotone between forest and swamp. However, H. lactea is also sometimes found in abundance in restiad bogs, and also perched, epiphytically on the tops of Carex secta plants growing on the margins of ponds, lakes and slow-flowing streams and rivers.
Rhizome long-creeping, 1–2 mm diameter, covered in red-brown hairs 2.0–3.5 mm long, giving rise to stipes at intervals of 15–90 mm. Stipes 100–450 mm long, 15–35 mm diameter, dark purple-red to red-brown, bearing red-brown hairs up to 3 mm long, numerous at base, more scattered above, becoming replaced by abundant colourless glandular hairs which are very variable in length but generally shorter than the brown hairs. Laminae angular-ovate, 200–600(–900) × 125–350(–500) mm, pinnate at apex, tripinnate at base (almost quadripinnate in largest specimens), exuding white milky substance from upper surface with age. Rachis red-brown at base, becoming pale yellow brown at apex, densely covered in short glandular hairs (0.1–0.8 mm) and more scattered longer red-brown hairs (up to 2 mm long, but mostly c.0.5 mm). Primary pinnae in 20–35 pairs + tapering pinnatifid terminal portion, opposite or subopposite, lower arising at 35–80°, upper ones at nearly 90°, longest ones below the middle and usually basal 65–380 × 40–150 mm; lowest ones 30–150(–200) mm apart, middle ones 10–50 mm apart; upper ones narrowly ovate or triangular to almost linear, lowest ovate or triangular, all with long tapering pinnatifid terminal portion. Secondary pinnae narrowly ovate, longest 24–90 × 9–30 mm, those on the lower pinnae decreasing markedly in length along the pinnae. Tertiary pinnae ovate, 5.0–16.0 × 3.0–7.5 mm, divided into 2–4 pairs of ultimate segments, broadly winged. Veins reaching margin at a tooth apex, often very slightly excurrent. Hairs: lamina margins, undersurfaces, veins, and midribs densely covered in short colourless glandular hairs (0.1–0.3 mm long on laminae, up to 0.4 mm on midribs), interspersed with occasional non-glandular hairs of same length; equal mixture of short colourless glandular and eglandular hairs on upper surface; occasional longer red-brown non-glandular hairs on midribs. Sori: usually one on acroscopic edge of each ultimate segment, sometimes second on basiscopic edge, originating away from margin,virtually unprotected. Spores pale brown, echinate.
Hypolepis lactea is superifically similar to Hypolepis amaurorachis and H. rufobarbata. From H. rufobarbata it can be distinguished by the distinctive, deltoid fronds, often covered in a fine white, milky, sticky exudate and by the frond lamina margins bearing colourless glandular hairs. From H. amaurorachis it is distinguished by the glandular hairs of the abaxial lamina surfaces and margins being 0.1-0.3 mm long and by the stipe and rachis coloured dark purplish-red for at least three-quarters of their length
Not Applicable - Spore Producing
Not Applicable - Spore Producing
Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easily grown from fresh spore and by division of established plants. Inclined to be short-lived. Hypolepis lactea prefers a moist, humus-rich soil and semi-shade.
hypolepis: From the greek hypo (under) and lepis (scale), referring to the position of the sori on the ferns
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (8 November 2012). Description from Brownsey & Chinnock (1984).
References and further reading
Brownsey, P.J.; Chinnock, R.J. 1984: A Taxonomic revision of the New Zealand species of Hypolepis. New Zealand Journal of Botany 22: 43-80.
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): Hypolepis lactea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/hypolepis-lactea/ (Date website was queried)