mangemange, bushman’s mattress, makamaka
Lygodium gracilescens Colenso
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 = c.140
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 Island from North Cape (Whiriwhiri Stream) south to Marokopa and the Bay of Plenty
Coastal and lowland to lower montan forest. Sometimes in gumland scrub
Climbing fern. Rhizomes creeping, hairy, Frond glabrous, high climbing. Stipe and rachises of indeterminate length, twisting and climbing to tops of surrounding vegetation, tough, wiry, pliant. Sterile and fertile pinnae markedly dimorphic, veins free. Midribs of sterile pinnae forked 2-3× ending in oblong secondary pinnae 40-100 × 5-20 mm, with rounded apices and smooth margins, adaxially bright green, abaxially glaucescent. Midribs of fertile pinnae forked many times, ending in fan-shaped lobule segments 5-10 mm long. Sporangia borne in spikes on the margins of lobule segments, each protected by an outgrowth of the lamina margin. Description modified from Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth 2000.
Easily recognised by the climbing twisting fronds arising for a long creeping rhizome, and which are usually interwoven into a dense tangle. These interwoven tangles make and excellent mattress and many a tramper has used these when caught out in the northern forests for the night. The only problem is that they are also a favoured home of tree weta, as many-a-tramper-caught-out-in-the-northern-forest-for-the-night comes to appreciate!
Once established Lygodium articulatum is easy to maintain, has rapid growth and soon forms an attractive “tangle” on a suitable host tree. its is not fussy about soil type but doesn’t flourish in poorly drained soils and should be planted in a partially shaded site where the fronds can grow up into the sun.
lygodium: From the Greek lukos (wolf) and podion (foot)
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 10 March 2011. Description modified 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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Lygodium articulatum Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/lygodium-articulatum/ (Date website was queried)