Tuber sword fern
Vascular – Exotic
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.
Terrestrial. Open forest, clay banks, track margins, rock outcrops. Lowland sites: rock outcrops, track margins.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Commonly occurs as either a hydrophyte or non-hydrophyte (non-wetlands).
Terrestrial or epiphytic fern to 1 m. Rhizomes small, erect, scaly, producing many long runners and round, 1-3 cm hairy potato-like tubers (only fern with tubers). Fronds 40-100 x 5-8 cm, erect (arching when long), pinnae leaflets) serrated.
The indigenous Nephrolepis flexuosa is similar, fronds to only 65 cm, no tubers, rare (geothermal sites, Raoul). Nephrolepis exaltata (also called Boston fern) a common indoor fern, is occasionally found wild it differs from N. cordifolia by having wider, softer fronds and no tubers.
Perennial; reproduces vegetatively by tubers. Dispersed by people sharing plants and dumping garden waste.
Reason for introduction
nephrolepis: Kidney scale
National Pest Plant Accord species
This plant is listed in the 2020 National Pest Plant Accord. The National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA) is an agreement to prevent the sale and/or distribution of specified pest plants where either formal or casual horticultural trade is the most significant way of spreading the plant in New Zealand. For up to date information and an electronic copy of the 2020 Pest Plant Accord manual (including plant information and images) visit the MPI website.