Tmesipteris forsteri sensu A.Cunn. nom. inv., Tmesipteris elongata P.A. Dang. subsp. elongata, Tmesipteris elongata subsp. robusta Chinnock, Tmesipteris lanceolata M. Sykes, Tmesipteris tannensis var. elongata (P.A.Dang.) Domin, Tmesipteris tugana H.N.Barber
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 = 208
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 | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands (most common in the North Island). Also Australia
Coastal to montane (but more common in lowland areas). Mostly epiphytic on a range of tree ferns (especially Dicksonia), trees and also emerging from the base of tank lilies (Astelia and Collospermum spp.). Less commonly found growing on cliff faces, amongst crackes and crevices in boulders and rock falls, or amongst mosses on the ground.
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).
UPL: Obligate Upland
Rarely is a hydrophyte, almost always in uplands (non-wetlands).
Rhizome: brittle, dichotomously branched, 0.8-3.5 mm diameter, densely clad in dark brown rhizoids 1.0-1.5 mm long. Aerial Shoot: developing over one or many years and terminating in a small appendage 0.1-0.5× the size of the largest leaves or in small forms with predominantly distichously arranged leaves terminating in an appendage similar to the largest leaves developed; simple or dichotomously branched 1-2(-3) or more times, pendulous, 80-1180 mm long, ± quadrangular in cross-section; leaves spirally or distichously arranged, sporophylls spirally arranged. Leaves: l-5 per 10 mm of stem, sub-coriaceous, flexible, almost isobilateral with stomata distributed over one or both surfaces, surfaces dull mid-green; oblong, lanceolate, falcate to aristate, variable on the same plant; 10-42 mm long, (excluding mucro), 3-9 mm broad; mucro blunt 1-2 mm long. Sporophylls: developed in regular or irregular zones or throughout most of the length except in the lowermost part, occasionally scattered amongst the leaves; slightly shorter than the leaves, 3-5 per 10 mm of shoot. Synangium: 2-6 mm long, 1.0-2.5 mm high at point of attachment, greenish yellow to light brown at maturity, testiculate; lobes ± equal, ends obtuse; lying along the sporophyll axis; immature synangia when dried reflex at the ends and then ± lunate; deciduous at maturity. Spores: pale yellow, often released in a mass.
Tmesipteris elongata is easily recognised by the testiculate rather than biconic sporangia (synangia) which have rounded ends and by the long, tapering, lanceolate, falcate or oblong leaves without emarginate apices (cf. Tmesipteris horomaka (see Fact Sheet)). Tmesipteris elongata subsp. robusta described by Chinnock (1975) is usually now regarded as an extreme form of T. elongata.
Difficult - should be removed from the wild
tmesipteris: From the Greek tmesis (cutting) and pteris (fern), alluding to the forked appendages on fertile fronds
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (21 April 2011). Description adapted from Chinnock (1975).
References and further reading
Chinnock, R.J. 1975: The New Zealand species of Tmesipteris (Psilotaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 13: 743-768
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Tmesipteris elongata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/tmesipteris-elongata/ (Date website was queried)