List of native New Zealand ferns

This is a list of native New Zealand ferns. These are the true ferns in the Division Pteridophyta that are native to New Zealand. The ferns of Cyathea and Dicksonia are tree ferns that can grow quite high, all the other genus groups are that of ground, climbing or perching ferns.



  • Asplenium bulbiferum – Hen and Chickens fern, mouku
  • Asplenium flaccidum – Hanging spleenwort
  • Asplenium polyodon – Sickle spleenwort
  • Asplenium oblongifolium – Shining spleenwort



  • Blechnum chambersii – Lance water fern
  • Blechnum colensoi – Waterfall fern, Colenso’s hard fern
  • Blechnum discolor – Crown fern
  • Blechnum fluviatile – Creek fern, kiwikiwi
  • Blechnum filiforme – Thread fern
  • Blechnum fraseri – Miniature Tree Fern
  • Blechnum penna-marina – Alpine Water Fern
  • Blechnum procerum – Mountain Kiokio
  • Blechnum novae-zelandiae – Palm-Leaf Fern, Kio kio
  • Doodia media – Rasp fern



  • Cyathea colensoi – Mountain tree fern
  • Cyathea cunninghamii – Gully tree fern, Slender tree fern or Ponga
  • Cyathea dealbata – Silver tree fern, Silver fern, Kaponga or Ponga
  • Cyathea kermadecensis – Kermadec tree fern (Kermadec Islands)
  • Cyathea medullaris – Black tree fern, Mamaku
  • Cyathea milnei – Milnes tree fern (Kermadec Islands)
  • Cyathea smithii – Soft tree fern, Katote



Dennstaedtiaceae is one of fifteen families in the order Polypodiales, the most derived families within monilophytes (ferns). It includes the world’s most abundant fern, Pteridium aquilinum (bracken). Members of the order generally have large, highly divided leaves and have either small, round intramarginal sori with cup-shaped indusia (e.g. Dennstaedtia) or linear marginal sori with a false indusium formed from the reflexed leaf margin (e.g. Pteridium). The morphological diversity among members of the order has confused past taxonomy, but recent molecular studies have supported the monophyly of the order and the family. The reclassification of Dennstaedtiaceae and the rest of the monilophytes was published in 2006, so most of the available literature is not updated.


  • Terrestrial or scrambling over other vegetation—scandent
  • Rhizomes long-creeping, occasionally short-creeping
  • Rhizomes bear jointed hairs
  • Rhizomes often siphonostelic or polystelic
  • Petioles often with epipetiolar buds
  • Petioles usually with gutter-shaped vascular strand (open end adaxial)
  • Petiole pubescent of glabros
  • Blades often large
  • Blades often 2-3 pinnate, can be 1-4 pinnate or more divided
  • Inducement of hairs, no scales
  • Veins free, or forked, or pinnate, rarely vanishing
  • Sori near the margin, or submarginal, sometimes fused with the blade to form a cup or pouch or obscured in a recurved portion of the blade margin
  • Sori mostly linear, may be discrete
  • Indusia linear or cup shaped at blade margin, or reflexed over sori
  • Sporangium stalk with 1-3 rows of cells
  • Spore tetrahedral and trilete, or reniform and monolete
  • Gametophyte green, cordate

Characteristics described by Smith et al., and Judd et al.

Distribution of genera

Generally, the family is pantropical, but due to the distribution of Pteridium (the most widespread fern genus), Dennstaedtiaceae can be found worldwide.[3] Pteridium is a well adapted early successional genus, generally described as a weed because of its ease of spread. The spore is light and robust, so it can travel relatively far and colonize open, disturbed environments easily.[4] Dennsteadtia is mostly tropical to warm-temperate, but not well represented in the Amazon or Africa. Oenotrichia is in New Caledonia. Leptolepiais in New Zealand, Queensland (Australia), and in New Guinea. Microlepia is in the Asiatic-Pacific. Paesia occurs in tropical America, Asia, and the western Pacific. Hypolepis is tropical and south-temperate. Blotiella is strongly centered in Africa. Histiopteris is generally Malesian, with one pantropic to south-temperate species.

History of classification

Dennstaedtiaceae was previously considered the only family the order Dennstaedtiales. Dennstaedtiaceae now contains the previously defined families Monachosoraceae Ching, Pteridiaceae Ching, and Hypolepidaceae Pic. Serm. Before Smith’s  classification in 2006, Dennstaedtiaceae was a poly- and para- phyletic family, containing genera that now are classified within Lindsaeaceae and Saccolomataceae, and with the family Monachosoraceae arising from within the Dennstaedtiaceae clade. The nonmonophyletic nature of Dennstaedtiaceae (pre-2006 classification) was proved and supported by multiple molecular studies. Dennstaedtiaceae as now classified is supported as monophyletic, but the relation of the genera within the family have not yet been fully clarified.

Interesting species within dennstaedtiaceae

Dennsteadtiaceae species and genera are usually known for their weedy nature (i.e. Pteridium spp., Hypolepis spp., Paesia spp.), but some species are grown ornamentally (Blotiella spp., Dennstaedtia spp., Hypolepis spp., Microlepia spp.).
The fiddleheads/crosiers of Pteridium aquilinum have been known to be eaten, but they contain carcinogens, so this practice is not prevalent.

The rhizomes of Pteridium esculentum were consumed by the Maori during their settlement of New Zealand in the 13th century, but no longer are a part of the Maori diet. The rhizomes of Pteridium esculentum contain about 50% starch when they grow in loose rich soil, at relatively deep depths. The rhizomes were a staple in the diet because once dried, the rhizomes were very light (perfect for traveling) and would keep for about a year as long as they remained dry. The leaves and spores of the Pteridium esculentum are associated with toxins and carcinogens, and have been known to cause stock (cattle, sheep, horses, pigs) to sicken.

  • Histiopteris incisa – Water Fern
  • Hypolepis ambigua – Pig Fern
  • Hypolepis millefolium – Thousand-Leaved Fern
  • Paesia scaberula – Ring Fern
  • Pteridium esculentum – Bracken



  • Dicksonia squarrosa – New Zealand tree fern, Rough Tree Fern, wheki
  • Dicksonia fibrosa – Wheki-ponga
  • Dicksonia lanata var. hispida – Tuokuro
  • Dicksonia lanata var. lanata – Tuokuro


  • Lastreopsis glabella
  • Lastreopsis hispida – Hairy fern
  • Polystichum richardii – Common shield fern
  • Polystichum vestitum – Prickly shield fern


  • Rumohra adiantiformis – climbing shield fern


  • Diranopteris linearis
  • Gleichenia dicarpa – Tangle fern, spider fern, swamp umbrella fern
  • Gleichenia circinnata – Tangle fern, spider fern, swamp umbrella fern
  • Gleichenia microphylla – Carrier tangle, parasol fern, waewaekākā
  • Sticherus cunninghamii – Umbrella fern, tapuwae kōtuku, waekura
  • Sticherus flabellatus
  • Sticherus tener


  • Ctenopteris herterphylla – Comb fern, Gypsy Fern
  • Grammitis billardierei – Common strap fern
  • Grammitis ciliata
  • Grammitis gunnii
  • Grammitis magellanica
  • Grammitis patagonica
  • Grammitis pseudociliata
  • Grammitis rawlingsii
  • Grammitis ridida


  • Hymenopyllum armstrongii
  • Hymenopyllum atrovirens
  • Hymenopyllum bivalve
  • Hymenophyllum cupressiforme
  • Hymenopyllum demissum – Drooping filmy fern, irirangi, piripiri
  • Hymenopyllum dilatatum – Matua, mauku
  • Hymenopyllum ferrugineum – Rusty filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum flabellatum – Fan-like filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum fleuosum
  • Hymenopyllum lyallii
  • Hymenopyllum malingii
  • Hymenopyllum minimum
  • Hymenopyllum multifidum – Much-divided filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum peltatum – One-sided filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum pulcherrimun – Tufted filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum rarum
  • Hymenopyllum revoltum
  • Hymenopyllum refescens
  • Hymenopyllum sanguinolentum – Piripiri
  • Hymenopyllum scabrum – Rough filmy fern
  • Hymenopyllum villosum – Hairy filmy fern
  • Trichomanes colensoi
  • Trichomanes elongatum – Bristle fern
  • Trichomanes endlicherianum
  • Trichomanes reniforme – Kidney fern, konehu, kopakapa, raurenga


  • Ptisana salicina – King fern, horseshoe fern, para


  • Leptopteris hymenophylloides – Single crepe fern, heruheru
  • Leptopteris superba – Crepe fern, Prince of Wales feathers, heruheru, ngātukākariki, ngutungutu kiwi
  • Osmeunda regalis – Royal fern
  • Todea barbara – Hard todea


  • Botrychium australe – Parsley fern, patotara
  • Botrychium biforme – Fine-leaved parsley fern
  • Botrychium lunaria – Moonwort
  • Ophioglossum coriaceum – Adder’s tongue
  • Ophioglossum petiolatum – Stalked adder tongue


  • Loxogramme dictyopteris – Lance fern
  • Microsorum pustulatum – Hounds tongue fern, kōwaowao, pāraharaha
  • Microsorum novae-zealandiae
  • Microsorum scandens – Fragrant fern, mokimoki
  • Polypodium vulgare – Common polypody
  • Pyrrosia eleagnifolia – Leather-leaf fern


  • Adiantum aethiopicum – True maidenhair, mākaka
  • Adiantum capillus-veneris – European maidenhair, venus-hair fern
  • Adiantum cunninghamii – Common maidenhair, Cunningham’s maidenhair
  • Adiantum diaphanum – Small maidenhair
  • Adiantum formosum – Giant maidenhair, plumed maidenhair
  • Adiantum fulvum
  • Adiantum hispidulum – Rosy maidenhair
  • Adiantum Raddianum
  • Adiantum viridescens
  • Anogramma leptophylla – Annual fern, Jersey fern
  • Cheilanthes distans – Woolly cloak fern, woolly rock fern
  • Cheilanthes sieberi – Rock fern
  • Pellaea calidirupium
  • Pellaea falcata
  • Pellaea rotundifolia – Button fern, round-leaved fern, tarawera
  • Pteris comans – Coastal brake, netted brake
  • Pteris cretica – Cretan brake
  • Pteris macilenta – Sweet fern
  • Pteris saxatilis – Carse
  • Pteris tremula – Shaking brake, tender brake, turawera
  • Pneumatopteris pennigera – Gully fern


  • Lygodium articulatum – Bushmans mattress, makamaka, mangemange
  • Schizaea austrlis – Southern comb fern
  • Schizaea dichotoma – Fan fern
  • Schizaea fistulosa – Comb fern
February 27, 2014 / by / in
List of trees native to New Zealand

Native forest on Stewart Island / Rakiura.

New Zealand’s long geological isolation means that most of its flora is unique. There are a wide variety of native trees, adapted to all the various micro-climates in New Zealand. The native bush (forest) ranges from the subtropical Kauri forests of the northern North Island, temperate rain forests of the West Coast, the alpine forests of the Southern Alps and Fiordland to the coastal forests of the Abel Tasman National Park and the Catlins.

In the early period of British colonisation, many New Zealand trees were known by names derived from the names of unrelated European trees, but more recently the trend has been to adopt the native Māori language names into English. For a listing in order of Māori name, with species names for most, see theFlora of New Zealand list of vernacular names.

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network has published a list of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants including all 574 native trees and shrubs.[1] This list also identifies which trees are endemic to New Zealand and which are threatened with extinction.


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Pteridophyta (ferns)

  • Cyatheaceae & Dicksoniaceae (tree fern families)
    • Ponga or silver fern, Cyathea dealbata
    • Mamaku Cyathea medullaris
    • Mountain tree fern Cyathea colensoi
    • Gully tree fern Cyathea cunninghamii
    • Soft Tree fern Cyathea smithii
    • Tuakura Dicksonia lanata
    • Kuripaka or wheki-ponga Dicksonia fibrosa
    • New Zealand tree fern or wheki, Dicksonia squarrosa

Pinophyta (conifers)

  • Araucariaceae (kauri family)
    • Kauri Agathis australis
  • Podocarpaceae (yellow-wood family)
    • Kahikatea Dacrycarpus dacrydioides (formerly Podocarpus)
    • Manoao Lagarostrobos colensoi (syn. Manoao colensoi)
    • Lepidothamnus intermedius
    • Lepidothamnus laxifolius
    • Manoao Halocarpus kirkii
    • Halocarpus biformis
    • Halocarpus bidwillii
    • Mataī Prumnopitys taxifolia
    • Miro Prumnopitys ferruginea
    • Mountain Toatoa Phyllocladus alpinus
    • Rimu Dacrydium cupressinum
    • Tanekaha Phyllocladus trichomanoides
    • Tōtara Podocarpus totara
      • Hall’s tōtara Podocarpus hallii
      • Needle-leaved tōtara Podocarpus acutifolius
      • Westland tōtara Podocarpus totara var. waihoensis
      • Mountain totara Podocarpus nivalis
    • Toatoa Phyllocladus toatoa (formerly Phyllocladus glaucus)
  • Cupressaceae (cypress family)
    • Kawaka Libocedrus plumosa
    • Pahautea Libocedrus bidwillii

Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)

  • Akeake
  • Akapuka Griselinia lucida
  • Beeches
    • Black beech Nothofagus solandri var. solandri
    • Hard beech Nothofagus truncata
    • Mountain beech Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides
    • Red beech Nothofagus fusca
    • Silver beech Nothofagus menziesii
  • Coprosmas
    • Chatham Islands karamu Coprosma chathamica (Chatham Islands)
    • Coprosma acutifolia (Kermadec Islands)
    • Coprosma ciliata
    • Coprosma dumosa
    • Coprosma macrocarpa subsp. minor
    • Coprosma pedicellata
    • Kanono Coprosma grandifolia
    • Karamu Coprosma lucida
    • Large-seeded coprosma Coprosma macrocarpa subsp. macrocarpa
    • Leafy coprosma Coprosma parviflora
    • Mikimiki Coprosma linariifolia
    • Stinkwood Coprosma foetidissima
    • Taupata Coprosma petiolata (Kermadec Islands)
  • Cabbage trees Cordyline
    • Cabbage tree Cordyline australis
    • Dwarf cabbage tree Cordyline pumilio
    • Forest cabbage tree Cordyline banksii
    • Mountain cabbage tree Cordyline indivisa
    • Three Kings cabbage tree Cordyline obtecta
  • Dracophyllum (Dragon leaf)
    • Chatham Island grass tree Dracophyllum arboreum (Chatham Islands)
    • Dracophyllum acerosum
    • Dracophyllum fiordense
    • Dracophyllum townsonii
    • Gumland grass tree Dracophyllum lessonianum
    • Inaka / Inanga Dracophyllum longifolium
    • Inanga Dracophyllum filifolium
    • Mountain neinei Dracophyllum traversii
    • Neinei Dracophyllum latifolium
    • Slender dragon tree Dracophyllum elegantissimum
    • Totorowhiti Dracophyllum strictum
    • Variable inaka Dracophyllum trimorphum
  • Five finger Pseudopanax arboreus
  • Hīnau Elaeocarpus dentatus
  • Horopito
    • Lowland horopito Pseudowintera axillaris
    • Mountain horopito Pseudowintera colorata
    • Northland horopito Pseudowintera insperata
  • Kaikōmako Pennantia corymbosa
  • Kaka Beak Clianthus puniceus
  • Kawakawa Macropiper excelsum
  • Kāmahi Weinmannia racemosa
  • Kanuka
    • Geothermal kanuka Kunzea ericoides var. microflora
    • Great Barrier Island kanuka Kunzea sinclairii
    • Kanuka Kunzea ericoides var. ericoides
  • Kapuka Griselinea littoralis
  • Karaka Corynocarpus laevigatus
  • Kohekohe Dysoxylum spectabile
  • Koromiko Hebe salicifolia
  • Kōtukutuku Fuchsia excorticata
  • Kōwhai
    • Coastal kōwhai Sophora chathamica
    • Godley’s kōwhai Sophora godleyi
    • Large-leaved kōwhai Sophora tetraptera
    • Limestone kōwhai Sophora longicarinata
    • Small-leaved kōwhai Sophora microphylla
    • Sophora fulvida
  • Lacebarks
    • Lacebark Hoheria populnea
    • Long-leaved lacebark Hoheria sexstylosa
    • Mountain lacebark Hoheria glabrata
    • Mountain lacebark Hoheria lyallii
    • Narrow-leaved houhere Hoheria angustifolia
    • Poor Knights houhere Hoheria equitum
  • Lancewoods
    • Lancewood Pseudopanax crassifolius
    • Toothed lancewood Pseudopanax ferox
  • Mamangi Coprosma arborea
  • Māhoe
    • Māhoe Melicytus ramiflorus
    • Narrow-leaved māhoe Melicytus lanceolatus
  • Maire Nestegis
    • Black maire Nestegis cunninghamii
    • Coastal maire Nestegis apetala
    • Narrow-leaved maire Nestegis montana
    • White maire Nestegis lanceolata
  • Makomako Aristotelia serrata
  • Manuka Leptospermum scoparium
  • Matagouri Discaria toumatou
  • Matipo
    • Black matipo, see Pittosporum tenuifolium
    • Coastal matipo Myrsine aquilonia
    • Chatham Island matipo Myrsine chathamica
    • Mt Burnett matipo Myrsine argentea
    • Red matipo Myrsine australis
    • Swamp matipo Myrsine coxii
  • Milk tree Streblus
    • Large-leaved milk tree Streblus banksii
    • Small-leaved milk tree Streblus heterophyllus
    • Three Kings milk tree Streblus smithii
  • Nikau Rhopalostylis sapida
  • Ngaio Myoporum laetum
  • Olearia (Tree daisy)
    • Akepiro Olearia furfuracea
    • Akeake Olearia avicenniifolia
    • Akiraho Olearia paniculata
    • Chatham Island akeake Olearia traversiorum
    • Coastal tree daisy Olearia solandri
    • Common tree daisy Olearia arborescens
    • Coromandel tree daisy Olearia townsonii
    • Fragrant tree daisy Olearia fragrantissima
    • Gardner’s tree daisy Olearia gardneri
    • Hector’s tree daisy Olearia hectorii
    • Heketara Olearia rani var. colorata
    • Heketara Olearia rani var. rani
    • Keketerehe Olearia chathamica
    • Lancewood tree daisy Olearia lacunosa
    • Mountain holly Olearia ilicifolia
    • Musky tree daisy Olearia moschata
    • Olearia angulata
    • Olearia crebra
    • Olearia lineata
    • Small-leaved tree daisy Olearia fimbriata
    • Streamside tree daisy Olearia cheesemanii
    • Subantarctic tree daisy Olearia lyallii
    • Swamp akeake Olearia telmatica
    • Tanguru Olearia albida
    • Tētēaweka Olearia angustifolia
  • Pigeonwood Hedycarya arborea
  • Pittosporum
    • Black matipo Pittosporum tenufolium
    • Fairchild’s kohuhu Pittosporum fairchildii
    • Haekaro Pittosporum umbellatum
    • Heart-leaved pittosporum Pittosporum obcordatum
    • Hutton’s kohuhu Pittosporum huttonianum
    • Karo Pittosporum crassifolium
    • Karo Pittosporum ralphii
    • Lemonwood Pittosporum eugenioides
    • Pitpat Pittosporum patulum
    • Pittosporum ellipticum
    • Pittosporum virgatum
    • Turner’s kohuhu Pittosporum turneri
  • Pōkākā Elaeocarpus hookerianus
  • Pōhutukawa
    • Kermedec pōhutukawa Metrosideros kermadecensis
    • Pōhutukawa Metrosideros excelsa
  • Pouteretere Leptecophylla robusta
  • Puka Meryta sinclairii
  • Pukatea Laurelia novae-zelandiae
  • Putaputawētā Carpodetus serratus
  • Nothofagus sp.
  • Puriri Vitex lucens
  • Ramarama Lophomyrtus bullata
  • Rātā
    • Bartlett’s rātā Metrosideros bartlettii
    • Northern rātā Metrosideros robusta
    • Parkinson’s rātā Metrosideros parkinsonii
    • Southern rātā Metrosideros umbellata
  • Rautini Brachyglottis huntii
  • Rewarewa Knightia excelsa
  • Ribbonwood
    • Ribbonwood Plagianthus betulinus
    • Chatham Island ribbonwood Plagianthus regius subsp. chathamicus
    • Lowland ribbonwood Plagianthus regius subsp. regius
  • Swamp maire Syzygium maire
  • Taraire Beilschmiedia tarairi
  • Tawa Beilschmiedia tawa
  • Tōwai Weinmannia silvicola
  • Taupata Coprosma repens
  • Tawāpou Pouteria costata
  • Titoki Alectryon excelsus
  • Toro Rapanea salicina
  • Wharangi Melicope ternata
  • Whau Entelea aborescens (corkwood)


  1. NZPCN (2006). New Zealand indigenous vascular plant checklist. ISBN 0-473-11306-6. Written by Peter de Lange, John W.D. Sawyer and J.R. Rolfe.
February 11, 2014 / by / in