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

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Common in the dense forest of the National Park on Norfolk Is., and likewise in the forest on the northern half of Lord Howe Is.

N.Is.: E slopes of Mt Bates, R.D.Hoogland 11251 (CANB, NSW); s. loc., 1902, J.H.Maiden & J.L.Boorman (K, NSW); s. loc., A.Cunningham 47 (K). L.H.Is.: between Hunter Bay and North Bay, J.D.Hoogland 8681 (NSW); approach to Transit Hill, 1920, J.L.Boorman (BRI, NSW); S slope of Intermediate Hill, R.D.Hoogland 8739 (NSW).

1Doubtful records

Davallia pyxidata Cav. was recorded from Mt Pitt, Norfolk Is., by R.M.Laing (Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 47: 11, 1915), citing J.H.Maiden (Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 737, 1904), but traceable back to W.J.Hooker (Sp. Fil. 1: 169, 1875), who cited a specimen collected by Dr. V.Thomson. In the Kew Herbarium there is a frond of this species labelled 'Norfolk Island' in Hooker's hand, but as this species, native to eastern Australia, has never been collected on the Island by anyone else, the record should be rejected and attributed to an error in labelling.

Rumohra adiantiformis (G.Forst.) Ching, as Aspidium capense (L.f.) Willd., was recorded from Lord Howe Is. by G.Bentham (Fl. Austral. 7: 758, 1878) and, following him, by W.B.Hemsley (Ann. Bot. (London) 10: 265, 1896). G.Bentham cited a specimen collected by C.Moore (sides of cliffs, Red Point, Mt Lidgbird, C.Moore 18, K), but this specimen is actually Polystichum whiteleggei Watts. It appears therefore, that Rumohra adiantiformis has never occurred on Lord Howe Is.

J.S.Turner et al., Conservation of Norfolk Is. 30 (1968), with some doubt, list Rumohra adiantiformis for Norfolk Is., but the record may be traced back through synonymy via Aspidium capense (J.H.Maiden, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 736, 1904), to Aspidium coriaceum Sw. (S.F.L.Endlicher, Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 8, 1833), yet the F.L.Bauer specimen cited, and present in W, is actually Lastreopsis calantha. It appears therefore, that Rumohra adiantiformis has never occurred on Norfolk Is. either.


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

Terrestrial, rarely epiphytic or lithophytic ferns. Rhizome short, erect or suberect, sometimes forming a trunk, or scandent, scaly especially at apex. Fronds often in rosettes, simple to bipinnate, often coarsely textured, all similar, or dimorphic, with fertile fronds contracted. Sori oblong to linear, in 1 or 2 rows either side of midrib, or continuous, parallel to and near costa of a pinna or its lobes; indusia attached to side of sorus away from costa and opening towards it.

A family of one large genus, Blechnum, and about 7 other smaller ones, with c. 220 species. Worldwide, but most abundant in the southern tropical regions. Two genera native to Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.


Sori forming a continuous band on either side of midrib


Sori short, oblong in one or two rows on either side of midrib



Sp. Pl. 2: 1077(1753)
Gen. Pl. 5th edn, 485(1754); from blechnon, a name used by Greek authors for a fern, possibly not even this genus

Type: B. occidentale L.

Terrestrial, rarely epiphytic or lithophytic ferns. Rhizome stout, usually erect, rarely creeping, with dark brown, shining, entire scales at apex. Fronds uniform or dimorphic, usually pinnate or deeply pinnatifid, rarely simple or bipinnatifid, usually coriaceous, entire or serrate; veins free, frequently once forked, parallel. Sori linear, continuous, parallel to and close to midrib or costae, dense, covering lower surface of linear lobes of fertile fronds; indusia membranous, attached to margin, covering sori when young.

A genus of c. 200 species with a worldwide distribution, but most species in the Southern Hemisphere. One species native to Norfolk Is., and 5 native to Lord Howe Is. (3 endemic).

G.Bentham, Filices, Blechnum, Fl. Austral. 7: 738–740 (1878).

1 Sterile fronds simple (L.H.Is.)

1. B. patersonii

1: All fronds pinnate, pinnatifid or pinnatisect

2 Sterile fronds deeply pinnatisect, pinnatifid or pinnate; lobes joined by a narrow wing on rachis

3 Basal pinnae abruptly reduced in length to a basal pair of pinnae 10 mm long and 1 or 2 distant pairs 0.5–2 mm long; rachis geniculate at base of lamina (L.H.Is.)

2. B. geniculatum

3: Basal pinnae very gradually reduced in length; rachis straight, not geniculate

4 Lower pinnae ±at right angles to rachis; apices obtuse; major pinnae narrowing in their upper half (N.Is.)

3. B. norfolkianum

4: Lower pinnae at an angle of 45°–60° to rachis; apices acute; major pinnae generally narrowing from near their base (L.H.Is.)

4. B. contiguum

2: Sterile fronds pinnate; pinnae often contiguous or sometimes overlapping slightly, ±auriculate at base or in lower half of frond (L.H.Is.)

5 Rachis of fronds sparsely scaly, without setae; pinnae up to 20 cm long

5. B. howeanum

5: Rachis of fronds sparsely scaly but with dense dark brown setae; pinnae up to 7 cm long

6. B. fullagarii

On Norfolk Is., growing against the base of the wall of the Melanesian Mission Chapel, is a Blechnum which by tradition is said to have been brought there from Melanesia during the time that the Melanesian Mission was based on Norfolk Is. It appears to be a member of the difficult, unresolved B. procerum (G.Forst.) Sw. group (P.S.Green 2442, K). As it seems to be entirely a cultivated species, it is not treated further here.

patersonii(R.Br.) Mett.
Fil. Hort. Bot. Lips. 64, t. 4, figs 4–10(1856)

Stegania patersonii R.Br., Prodr. 152 (1810).T: Tasmania, W.Paterson; holo: BM. Named after William Paterson (1755–1810), botanical explorer and twice temporary Governor of New South Wales.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 101, fig. 97 (1981); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 323 (1987); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 66 (1990).

Terrestrial. Rhizome short, ±erect; apical scales narrow, 3–4 mm long, brown. Fronds dimorphic, glabrous, clustered; stipe 2.5–20 cm long. Lamina of sterile fronds simple, very narrowly oblanceolate, 20–50 cm long, 1.5–2.5 cm broad, long-decurrent at base, acuminate; margins finely undulate; veins close together, simple or once forked near midrib. Lamina of fertile fronds simple; lobes linear, 2–4 mm broad.

Lord Howe Is. Rare, confined to the upper parts of Mt Gower. Also known from eastern Australia (Qld to Tas.).

L.H.Is.: N ridge of Mt Gower, J.Pickard 2640 (NSW); ridge of Mt Gower, J.Pickard 3610 (NSW); almost at the top of Mt Gower, P.S.Green 2332 (K).

In mainland Australia and Tasmania the sterile and fertile fronds may be irregularly pinnatisect. The island plant appears to consistently bear simple fronds.

geniculatumT.C.Chambers & P.A.Farrant
Telopea 5: 329(1993)

T: Lord Howe Island, J.Pickard 3632; holo: NSW; iso: K. The epithet alludes to the strongly geniculate base to the sterile fronds.

Illustration: T.C.Chambers & P.A.Farrant, Telopea 5: 330, fig. 1 (1993).

Terrestrial or lithophytic fern. Rhizome shortly creeping; apical scales dense, 5–20 mm long, acute, dark brown. Fronds dimorphic, somewhat clustered; rachis strongly geniculate at base of the fronds forming an inverted 'cup', glabrous; stipe 8–32 cm long. Lamina of sterile fronds deeply pinnatisect, overall outline broadly lanceolate, 10–25 cm long, 7–15 cm broad; pinnae 8–23 pairs, closely adjacent, overlapping slightly towards frond base, broadly oblong-linear, up to 3.5–8 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, at frond base abruptly reduced to 1 pair of very short roundish lobes to 1 cm long, and 1 or 2 others, distant, 0.5–2 mm long; apex of pinnae acuminate, stoutly aristate; veins close together, rarely once forking. Lamina of fertile fronds with 10–17 pairs of linear pinnae.

Fig. 107C.v*****_f*****.jpg

Lord Howe Is. Endemic and rare on the summits of Mts Gower and Lidgbird.

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