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

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Found in valleys.

N.Is.: King Fern Gully, E slope of Mt Pitt, R.D.Hoogland 11192 (CANB, K, NSW); s. loc., 1884, I.Robinson (MEL, NSW).

Although in his original description Smith ascribed the plant to N.S.W., no Marattia occurs there and it is most probable that he had received what was the Norfolk Is. plant, via Port Jackson [Sydney] (see A.H.G.Alston, J. Bot. 74: 74, 1936).

howeana(W.R.B.Oliv.) P.S.Green
Kew Bull. 43: 655(1988)

Marattia fraxinea var. howeana W.R.B.Oliv., Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 49: 125 (1917).T: Deep Creek, Lord Howe Island, W.R.B.Oliver; holo: WELT. The epithet is derived from the name of the island on which this fern is endemic.

[Marattia salicina auct. non Sm.: F.J.H. von Mueller, Fragm. 10: 118 (1877)]

[Marattia fraxinea auct. non Sm.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 7: 695 (1879); W.B.Hemsley, Ann. Bot. (London) 10: 267 (1896)]

Marattia salicina Sm. subsp.: G.L.Lucas & A.H.M.Synge, IUCN Red Data Book 41 (1978); A.N.Rodd & J.Pickard, Cunninghamia 1: 269 (1983).

Illustration: C.J.Goudey, Austral. Fern J. 1: fig. 12 [but not fig. 13] (1984).

Large, robust fern. Fronds up to 4 m long, 2- or 3-pinnate; pinnae alternate; pinnules very shortly petiolulate, lanceolate, 6–9 cm long, 1–2 cm broad, distinctly crenulate, ±abruptly acuminate, glabrous. Synangia submarginal, 8 or 9 per cm, 2–3.5 mm long, with 15–22 pairs of sori.

Horse Shoe Fern, King Fern.

Fig. 101C–D.v*****_f*****.jpg

Lord Howe Is. Endemic, and threatened. Occurs in the mountainous southern half of the Island.

Found beside streams in dense forest.

L.H.Is.: Eddies Cave, J.Pickard 3591 (NSW); N side of Erskine Valley, A.C.Beauglehole 5746 (CANB, MEL); loc. id., P.S.Green 2367 (K); Big Ck, C.Moore 21 & 64 (K, MEL).

Related to M. attenuata Labill. of New Caledonia.


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

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes short or trunk-like, without hairs or scales. Fronds uniform or dimorphic, 1–3-pinnate; veins free. Sporangia not aggregated in sori, large, maturing simultaneously, opening by vertical slits; rudimentary annulus represented by a group of thick-walled cells.

A family of 3 genera and 18 species, of worldwide representation; 1 genus native to Lord Howe Is.


Suppl. Tent. Pterid. 70(1845)
from the Greek leptos (thin or slender) and pteris (fern), in allusion to the thin texture of these delicate ferns

Type: L. hymenophylloides (A.Rich.) C.Presl

Ferns with stout, erect trunk up to 1 m tall. Fronds 2- or 3-pinnate or 3-pinnate-pinnatisect, very thin, lacking mesophyll and stomata. Sporangia naked, clustered around basal region of veins on dorsal surface of pinnules.

A genus of c. 7 species from Papua New Guinea, eastern Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa. One species endemic to Lord Howe Is.

Characteristic of very humid situations.

G.Bentham, Filicales, Tribe Osmundeae, Todea, Fl. Austral. 7: 699–700 (1878).

moorei(Baker) H.Christ
Farnkr. Erde 335(1897)

Todea moorei Baker, J. Bot. 11: 16 (1873); Osmunda moorei (Baker) F.Muell., Fragm. 9: 78 (1875).T: summit of Mt Gower, Lord Howe Island, R.D.Fitzgerald; holo: K. Named after Charles Moore, (1820–1905), Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, (1849–1896), who collected on Lord Howe Is. in 1869.

Illustration: J.G.Baker, Hooker's Icon. Pl. 17: t. 1697 (1887).

Fern with trunk 20–30 cm tall. Fronds delicate, 0.5–1 m long, 30–45 cm broad, 2- or 3-pinnate or pinnatisect; pinnules numerous, overlapping, lanceolate, bluntly denticulate.

Fig. 101F.v*****_f*****.jpg

Lord Howe Is. Endemic and confined to the summit of Mt Gower, vulnerable.

L.H.Is.: Mt Gower, C.Moore 17 (K, MEL); summit of Mt Gower, J.Pickard 2623 & 2629 (NSW).


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

There is a specimen of the climbing fern Lygodium japonicum (Thunb.) Sw., in the herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney labelled 'Norfolk Island' in J.H.Maiden's hand, but although this fern is known from tropical Australia this record for Norfolk Is. has not been confirmed and the specimen may be presumed to have been mislabelled.


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

Epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial ferns of humid places. Rhizomes slender, long-creeping or short and suberect. Fronds diverse; lamina membranous, only one cell thick, without stomata. Sori marginal at vein endings; sporangia on short or elongate receptacles enclosed in tubular or cup-like indusia, often 2-lobed; sporangia developing basipetally, sessile, with an oblique or horizontal annulus.

A family with a variable number of genera between 2 and 34, depending on the authority followed, but containing c. 600 species, most abundant in the wet tropics; 2 genera native on each Island.

They are usually called Filmy Ferns, because of their thin, membranous (usually 1 cell thick), often semi-transparent fronds. For generic classification see Morton (1968) (below), where two of the genera recognised below are treated as sections of the genus Trichomanes.

C.V.Morton, The genera, subgenera and sections of Hymenophyllum, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 38: 153–214 (1968); K.Iwatsuki in K.Kubitzki, Families & Genera of Vascular Plants 1: 157–163 (1990).


1 Involucre cup-shaped and 2-lipped or ±deeply 2-lobed; receptacle usually not exserted; rhizome always slender, often long-creeping


1: Involucre narrowly or broadly tubular, ±truncate and entire, sometimes ±dilated; receptacle often long-exserted; rhizome long-creeping or erect

2 Rhizome wiry, long-creeping


2: Rhizome robust, erect



Mém. Acad. Roy. Sci. (Turin) 5: 418(1793)
from the Greek hymen (a thin membrane) and phyllum (a leaf), in allusion to the texture of the leaves in this genus

Type: H. tunbridgense (L.) Sm.

Delicate epiphytes; rhizomes slender, often long-creeping. Fronds scattered, ascending or pendent; stipe slender; lamina pinnate or 2–4-pinnatifid, glabrous or hairy; ultimate segments entire or toothed, 1-veined. Sori usually immersed, or partially free; involucre cup-shaped and 2-lipped or ±deeply 2-lobed; receptacle included to long-exserted.

A genus with c. 300 species of widespread distribution in humid habitats; 2 species endemic to Lord Howe Is. For a discussion of subdivisions of this genus see C.V.Morton, loc. cit.

G.Bentham, Filicales, Hymenophyllum, Fl. Austral. 7: 704–707 (1878).

Fronds 5–12 cm long; ultimate pinnules 0.5–1 mm wide; margins of involucre entire

1. H. howense

Fronds 2–6 cm long; ultimate pinnules 1.5–2 mm wide; margins of involucre dentate

2. H. moorei

Pacific Sci. 14: 244(1960)

T: Mt Gower, Lord Howe Island, C.Moore 4; holo: K. Named after the island on which this species occurs.

[Hymenophyllum tunbridgense auct. non (L.) Sm.: F.J.H. von Mueller, Fragm. 9: 78 (1875); G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 7: 706 (1878), p.p.; W.R.B.Oliver, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 49: 118 (1917)]

[Hymenophyllum flabellatum auct. non Labill.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 7: 705 (1878), p.p.; W.R.B.Oliver, Trans. & Proc. New Zealand Inst. 49: 118 (1917)]

[Hymenophyllum multifidum auct. non (G.Forst.) Sw.: G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 7: 708 (1878); A.N.Rodd & J.Pickard, Cunninghamia 1: 269 (1983)]

[Hymenophyllum nitens auct. non R.Br.: R.Tate in J.J.Fletcher, Macleay Mem. Vol. 218 (1893)]

Rhizome creeping, wiry, with reddish brown adpressed hairs. Fronds: stipe 2–5 (–7) cm long, with scattered hairs; lamina triangular-ovate, 4–6 cm long, 2–5 cm broad, 3- or 4-pinnatifid; ultimate divisions narrowly linear, 0.5–1 mm broad, obscurely serrate. Sori not immersed, terminal on short segments of lamina; involucre oblong, rounded, lobes c. half the length of involucre, entire; receptacle eventually exserted.

Fig. 101G–H.v*****_f*****.jpg

Lord Howe Is. Endemic in the upper regions of Mts Gower and Lidgbird.

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