P. S. Green Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, tw9 3AB, England

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Found on tree fern trunks and fallen logs in King Fern Valley and similar habitats.

N.Is.: slopes of Mt Pitt, P.S.Green, P.Ralston & O.Evans 1415 (A, NSW); King Fern Gully, R.D.Hoogland 11193 (NSW); between Palm Glen and Red Rd, R.J.Chinnock 5954 (AD, K).


P.S.GreenRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, England

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome erect or creeping, scaly. Fronds usually uniform, 1–4-pinnate, borne close together, usually clustered at apex of rhizome; veins usually free. Sori without indusia or with a false indusium from a scarious margin; paraphyses often present.

A worldwide family variously interpreted as containing from 3 to 7 genera and over 250 species. One genus native to both Islands.


Sp. Pl. 2: 1073(1753)
Gen. Pl. 5th edn, 484 (1754); the Greek name for a fern

Type: P. longifolia L.

Rhizome often stout, scaly at apex. Fronds: stipe grooved on upper surface; lamina 1–4-pinnate, with rachis deeply grooved above; pinnae often deeply pinnatisect, with short spines often present at base of ultimate costules. Sori linear, marginal to submarginal, connecting the vein endings; false indusia linear, continuous, formed from modified margin.

A large worldwide genus of 250 or more species.

Parts of the genus are in need of revision, especially the P. comans G.Forst. group. In the meantime recognition is given, at specific rank, to P. microptera and P. zahlbruckneriana, members of this group.

G.Bentham, Filices, Pteris, Fl. Austral. 7: 727–733 (1878).

1 Veins of lamina simple or once forked, free

2 Frond bipinnate for 1 (sometimes 2) basal divisions, pinnatifid apical portion c. 1/3 of length of lamina; median pinnules 15–30 mm long, 3–5 mm broad; sterile apex broadly acute, 2–4 (–5) mm long (N.Is.)

1. P. kingiana

2: Frond bipinnate for 4–5 (–7) basal divisions, with only a short pinnatifid apical portion; median pinnules 10–15 (–20) mm long, 1.5–3 (–5) mm broad; sterile apex somewhat blunt, 1–2 (–3) mm long (N.Is., L.H.Is.)

2. P. tremula

1: Veins of lamina netted

3 Segments of lamina 4–6 mm broad, acute; continuous portion along midrib 0.5–1.5 mm broad (L.H.Is.)

3. P. microptera

3: Segments of lamina (6–) 8–10 mm broad, ±obtuse; continuous portion along midrib 3–5 mm broad (N.Is.)

4. P. zahlbruckneriana

Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 13(1833)

Pteris tremula var. kingiana (Endl.) Hook. & Baker, Syn. Fil. 161 (1867).T: Norfolk Island, 1804–1805, F.L.Bauer; holo: W. Named after Philip Gidley King (1758–1808), who superintended the first settlement on Norfolk Is. in 1788 and who was later Governor of New South Wales from 1800–1806.

Pteris trattinickiana Endl., op. cit. 14.T: Norfolk Island, 1804–1805, F.L.Bauer; holo: W.

[Pteris quadriaurita auct. non Retz.: J.H.Maiden, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 732 (1904)]

[Pteris marginata auct. non Bory; J.H.Maiden, loc. cit.]

[Pteris biaurita var. quadriaurita auct. non (Retz.) Luerss.: R.M.Laing, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 48: 231 (1916)]

[Pteris tripartita auct. non Sw.: J.S.Turner et al., Conservation Norfolk Is. 31 (1968)]

Illustrations: W.R.B.Oliver, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 48: 230, figs. 1, 2 (1916); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 37 (1987).

Rhizome short, erect; apex covered with long, narrow, brown scales. Fronds tufted, 30–90 cm tall; stipe base scurfy, with numerous narrow, brown scales 4–7 mm long; lamina outline broadly deltoid, 15–50 cm long, 12–35 cm broad, usually coriaceous, bipinnate at base for 1 (sometimes 2) divisions, pinnate for 3–5 pairs of subopposite divisions, then apical portion deeply pinnatifid, c. 1/3 length of lamina; midrib of pinnae above flanged, usually with acute 'teeth' 0.5–1.5 mm long at junction of each pinnule midrib; pinnules narrow (those of median pinnae 15–30 mm long, 3–5 mm broad), shortly acute; veins simple or once forked, free. Sori marginal, continuous; apex of pinnules sterile, dentate, 2–4(–5) mm long, broadly acute.

King's Brakefern.

Norfolk Is. Endemic, and locally common.

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