Acrostichum fistulosum (Labill.) Poir.; Schizaea fistulosa Labill.
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 = 380, 540
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
Indigenous. New Zealand: Three Kings, North, South and Chatham Islands. In the North Island widespread from North Cape south to about the Waikato thence scarce. In the South Island confined to North-West Nelson. Also present in Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.
Coastal to lowland on clay pans, podzols, in gumland scrub, open scrub or forest, kauri forest (and then especially along ridged lines) and also in restiad peat bogs in the Waikato and the Chatham Islands.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Rhizomatous, tufted fern. Rhizome short creeping, densely clothed with dark brown hairs. frond clustered, erect, undivided, 10-500 mm long, c.0.5-1.0 mm wide, wiry, terete or subterete, furrowed on 1 side, green or pale brown with scattered hairs, smooth; sterile fronds similar to sporogenous fronds but much shorter; sporogenous heads 7-30 mm long, usually 5-12× longer than wide, narrowly triangular to linear-oblong, broadest at or near the base, tapering distally, straight or slightly curved; segments 2-5 mm long, smooth, glabrous or with sparse hairs. Sporangia not mixed with hairs. Description adapted from Chinnock (1998) and Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).
Morphologically similar to Schizaea australis (which some botanists (e.g., Chinnock 1998) had regarded as merely a reduced state of what is here called Microschizaea fistulosa). Microschizaea fistulosa differs from Schizaea australis by its usually large size (stipe 100-500 cf. 20-150 mm mm long in S. australis), larger fertile sporogenous frond (7-30 mm cf. 4-15 mm in S. australis), slightly larger pinnae (1-5 mm cf. 1-4 mm long in S. australis), ecological preference for coastal and lowland habitats, and perhaps most convincingly by its different chromosome number (2n = 388, 540 cf. 2n= 188 in S. australis).
Microschizaea is genetically distinct from Schizaea s.s. though morphologically the chief difference is that Microschizaea fistulosa has hairs amongst the sporangia (Ket et al. 2022).
Difficult - should not be removed from the wild
fistulosa: From the Latin fistula ‘pipe’, referring to a cylindrical or terete shape which is closed at each end
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (14 March 2011). Description adapted from Chinnock (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.
Chinnock, R.J. 1998: Schizaeaceae. Flora of Australia 48: 177-187.
Ke, B-F.; Wang, G-J.; Labiak, P.H.; Rouhan, G.; on behalf of the GoFlag Consortium; Chen, C-W.; Shepherd, L.D.; Ohlsen, D.J.; Renner, M.A.M.; Karol, K.G.; Li, F-W.; Kuo, L-Y. 2022: Systematics and Plastome Evolution in Schizaeaceae. Frontiers in Plant Science 3: 885501. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.885501
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Microschizaea fistulosa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/microschizaea-fistulosa/ (Date website was queried)