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

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Fairly common on banks in the forest and wooded roadsides.

N.Is.: Anson Bay Rd, near Selwyn Bridge, M.Lazarides 8055 (CANB, K); Ghost Corner, Anson Bay Road, P.S.Green 2381 (K); bottom of Douglas Drive, along Mission Rd, R.J.Chinnock 5912 (AD, K). L.H.Is.: Deep Ck, J.C.Game 69/317 (K); Middle Beach Common, J.Pickard 2700 (NSW); SW base of Mt Lidgbird, A.N.Rodd 1718 (NSW).

The Norfolk Is. population is somewhat aberrant in having up to 6 pairs of reduced lower pinnae and in the presence of numerous capitate hairs on and between the veins.

parasitica(L.) H.Lév.
Fl. Kouy-Tchéou 475(1915)

Polypodium parasiticum L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1090 (1753).T: China, P.Osbeck; holo: S n.v., fide R.E.Holttum, Kew Bull. 31: 309 (1976). Named after its supposed 'parasitic', i.e. epiphytic, habit.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 116, fig. 126 (1981); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 357, fig. 36.3C, 358, fig. 36.4C (1990); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 52 (1990).

Rhizome distinctly creeping. Fronds 30–100 cm tall: stipes somewhat separate at base; pinnae 15–20 pairs, 4–14 cm long, the lowest scarcely shorter than those above, lobed for the lower 2/3; lobes rounded, oblique; hairs on rachis, costae, veins and lamina pale, 0.2–0.75 mm long, the longest on the costae above, also numerous short capitate hairs and orange, glandular hairs below, usually on costae and veins. Sori circular; indusia hairy.

Norfolk Is. Distributed from mainland SE Asia and Japan, through Malesia to Australia (Qld), New Caledonia and the Pacific islands.

Uncommon on woodside banks.

N.Is.: Anson Bay Rd, near Bullock Hut Rd, P.S.Green 2377 (K); Ghost Corner, S of site of old Anson Bay School, R.J.Chinnock 5925 (AD, K); Rocky Point area (Hundred Acre Reserve), W.R.Sykes NI 517 (CHR).

Although the collections cited are here treated as Christella parasitica they are somewhat aberrant for the species. However, despite their slight differences from each other, without field and experimental studies it would be premature to name the Island population as a distinct new taxon. The Chinnock collection in its pubescence resembles Christella hispidula (Decne.) Holttum and it bears relatively few orange glands.


Macrothelypteris(H.Itô) Ching
Acta Phytotax. Sin. 8: 308(1963)
from the Greek makros (large) and Thelypteris, a related genus of ferns

Type: M. oligophlebia (Baker) Ching

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome short, creeping or suberect; scales narrow with marginal and superficial fine hairs. Fronds large, bipinnate-tripinnatifid; rachis with hair-tipped scales or long slender septate hairs; veins usually branched, not reaching margin. Sori circular, small; indusia lacking or very small.

A genus of c. 9 species, extending from the Mascarenes to tropical Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands; 1 species native to Norfolk Is.

torresiana(Gaudich.) Ching
Acta Phytotax. Sin. 8: 310(1963)

Polystichum torresianum Gaudich. in H.L.C. de S. de Freycinet, Voy. Uranie 333 (1828).T: Mariana Islands, C.Gaudichaud-Beaupré; holo: ?G n.v. Named after Don José Torres, resident on Guam in 1819, when the type specimen was collected during the expedition under de Freycinet in L'Uranie.

Aspidium uliginosum Kuntze, Linnaea 20: 6 (1847).T: cultivated, spores from Java; holo: ?LZ n.v., probably destroyed.

[Aspidium setigerum auct. non (Blume) Kuhn: J.H.Maiden, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 727 (1904)]

[Dryopteris setigera auct. non (Blume) Kuntze: R.M.Laing, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 47: 10 (1915)]

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 167, fig. 272 (1976); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 349, fig. 36.1A (1990); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 51 (1990).

Rhizome stout, shortly creeping, densely covered with narrow, brown, hairy scales. Fronds to 2 m tall, triangular in outline, deeply tripinnatifid, pale green; stipe bases swollen; largest pinnae c. 20 cm long, 9 cm broad, deltoid; pinnules decurrent as a narrow wing along pinna rachis, oblique, deeply cut, with scattered, pale, slender hairs c. 1 mm long on costae and veins and short, capitate hairs on lamina surface. Sori small, circular; indusia very small.

Norfolk Is. Rare. Known from the Old World tropics, from Madagascar to SE Asia, Australia (Qld), Polynesia and Hawai'i. It is also adventive in several parts of the New World.

N.Is.: s. loc., P.H.Metcalfe (K).


Terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes long-creeping, subterranean, usually bearing hairs. Fronds often distant, large, much divided, usually bearing multicellular hairs on rachis and usually also on lamina; veins free or anastomosing. Sori marginal or submarginal, terminal on veins, indusiate; indusium continuous, formed from modified margin of lamina or pouch-shaped, or sorus protected by a 'cup' formed from fusion of indusium with a lobe of the margin.

A mainly tropical family of c. 7 genera and c. 200 species; 3 genera native to Norfolk Is., of which 2 are also on Lord Howe Is.


1 Sori rounded, discrete, protected by a reflexed lobe of the margin


1: Sori linear, continuous, protected by a reflexed margin

2 Veins anastomosing; lamina ±soft, herbaceous; ultimate segments broad


2: Veins all free; lamina hard, coriaceous; ultimate segments narrow, linear



Histiopteris(J.Agardh) J.Sm.
Hist. Fil. 294(1875)
from the Greek histion (a sail) and pteris (a fern), in allusion to the shape of the pinnae in these ferns

Type: H. vespertilionis (Labill.) J.Sm.

Rhizomes long, hairy. Fronds distant, large, usually tripinnatifid; stipe long, dark coloured; lamina soft; pinnae and pinnules opposite, with basal ones often 'stipule-like', ultimate segments broad, lobed or entire; veins anastomosing, without free included veinlets. Sori submarginal, continuous, linear or elongate, protected by an indusium formed from the reflexed and modified margin; paraphyses present.

A genus of c. 7 species from tropical regions, extending to warm temperate areas in the Southern Hemisphere; 1 species native to the Islands.

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

incisa(Thunb.) J.Sm.
Hist. Fil. 295(1875)

Pteris incisa Thunb., Prodr. Pl. Cap. 171 (1800).T: The Cape [of Good Hope], S. Africa, C.P.Thunberg; holo: ?UPS n.v. The epithet comes from the Latin incisio (a cut or incision), in allusion to the shape of the margin of the pinnules.

Pteris brunoniana Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 12 (1833).T: Norfolk Island, F.L.Bauer; holo: W.

[Pteris comans auct. non G.Forst.: S.F.L.Endlicher, op. cit. 13]

[Pteris vespertilionis auct. non Labill.: J.D.Hooker, Fl. Nov.-Zel. 2: 26 (1854), p.p.]

[Pteris aurita auct. non Blume: W.J.Hooker, Sp. Fil. 2: 231 (1858), p.p.]

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 147, fig. 183 (1981); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 330 (1987); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 95, fig. 116, t. 19F (1989).

Rhizome robust, 5–10 mm diam., with scales and hairs. Fronds: stipe to 1 m tall, polished, very dark brown towards base; lamina 1–2 m long, c. half as broad, usually tripinnatifid, ±soft, herbaceous, pea-green when young; ultimate pinnules becoming adnate towards ends of costules; sterile segments broadly triangular, rounded; fertile segments narrowly deltoid, acute; basal segments smaller and stipule-like.

Oak Fern, Bat-Wing Fern.

Norfolk Is., Lord Howe Is. Pantropical (especially on mountains), extending to southern temperate Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.

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