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

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Growing in pockets of humus, for example, in and above plants of Platycerium, and probably overlooked there.

L.H.Is.: Boat Harbour track. I.Hutton 585 (K); s. loc., 1948, M.Nicholls (NSW).


J. Bot. (Schrader) 1800(2): 8, 110(1801)
from the Greek botrychios, a diminutive derived from botrys (a bunch of grapes), in allusion to the appearance of the fertile portion of these plants

Type: B. lunaria (L.) Sw.

Perennial, terrestrial herbs. Fronds 1 or 2, erect, with a common stipe bearing sterile and fertile parts; venation open, dichotomous. Sporangia numerous, globose, naked, not immersed in surrounding tissue.

A worldwide genus of c. 40 species; 1 species native to Lord Howe Is.

G.Bentham, Filices, Botrychium, Fl. Austral. 7: 689–690 (1878).

Prodr. 164(1810)

T: Port Jackson and Tasmania, Australia, 1802 & 1803, R.Brown; syn: BM. Named from the Latin australis (southern), referring to the Southern Hemisphere distribution of this species.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 57, fig. 51 (1981); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 33, fig. 32, t. 4B (1989); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 257, fig. 25.1A (1990).

Herb, 15–30 (–40) cm tall. Sterile lamina with numerous, deep divisions, ±triangular in outline, (6–) 8–10 (–15) cm long, (6–) 8–10 (–15) cm broad at base. Fertile sporangiophore also much branched; sporangia very numerous, globose, c. 1 mm diam., opening by a transverse slit.

Lord Howe Is. Rare. Also known from eastern Australia and New Zealand.

Found in shade.

L.H.Is.: in the vicinity of the post office, 1920, J.L.Boorman (NSW); The Saddle, J.Pickard 3626 (NSW).


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

Large terrestrial ferns with massive, erect or creeping, fleshy rhizome. Fronds small to very large, simple or pinnately compound, attached by an enlarged joint and stipule-like outgrowth. Sporangia in rounded or elongate dorsal sori, free or connate into thick-walled synangia opening by a ventral, longitudinal slit; homosporous.

A family of 5 genera and c. 200 species, from the moist tropics and subtropics; 1 genus native to the Islands.


Prodr. 128(1788)
named after the Italian botanist, Giovanni Francesco Marratti (?–1777)

Type: M. alata Sw.

Medium-sized to massive ferns; rhizomes stout. Fronds with a pair of fleshy stipules at base of stipe, pinnately compound, with base of pinnae pulvinate; veins free, simple or forked. Sporangia coalescent in double row to form oval to oblong or rounded synangia along each side of midvein.

A genus of c. 60 species, distributed in most tropical countries, and reaching New Zealand and Japan; 1 native species on each of the Islands.

G.Bentham, Filices, Marattia, Fl. Austral. 7: 694–695 (1878).

Synangia (1–) 1.5–2.5 mm long, with (6–) 7–14 (–16) pairs of sori; base of midveins of pinnae on undersides with scattered, cobwebby scales (N.Is.)

1. M. salicina

Synangia 2–3.5 mm long, with (15–) 20–22 pairs of sori; base of midveins on undersides glabrous (L.H.Is.)

2. M. howeana

salicinaSm. in A.Rees
Cycl. 22: Marattia No. 6(1812)

T: 'New South Wales' [Norfolk Island], Molesworth in Herb. Smith 1644.3; holo: LINN n.v.; photo seen (IDC microfiche 5073-837/15). The epithet comes from the Latin salix (willow), in allusion to the willow-shaped leaflets.

Marattia elegans Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk. 6 (1833).T: Norfolk Island, 1804–1805, F.L.Bauer; holo: W.

[Marattia fraxinea auct. non Sm.: J.H.Maiden, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28: 740 (1904); R.M.Laing, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 47: 15 (1915)]

Illustrations: S.Firth et al., Ferns New Zealand 58 (1986); D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 15 (1987); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 36, fig. 37, t. 5A (1989).

Large, robust fern. Stipes 2 m long; lamina 1–4 m long, 2- or 3-pinnate; pinnae alternate; pinnules shortly petiolulate, narrowly lanceolate, 8–15 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, finely serrate, acute, with scattered, long cobwebby scaly hairs beneath, especially towards base and midrib. Synangia marginal, 8–10 per cm, (1–) 1.5–2.5 mm long, with (6–) 7–14 (–16) pairs of sori.

King Fern.

Fig. 101E.v*****_f*****.jpg

Norfolk Is. On the south-eastern slopes of Mts Pitt and Bates, vulnerable. Also known from New Zealand.

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