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

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Growing beside streams in deep forest shade, endemic to the Islands.

N.Is.: Mt Pitt Reserve, M.Lazarides 8088 (CANB, K, NSW); valley S of Mt Bates, P.S.Green 1895 (K); Now-Now Valley, R.D.Hoogland 11253 (NSW). L.H.Is.: top of Mt Gower, P.S.Green 1599 (K, NSW); Erskine Valley, J.C.Game 69/148 (K); Rocky Run, J.Pickard 3428 (NSW).

This species is related to Trichomanes apiifolium C.Presl (combination not currently available in Cephalomanes) of Malesia and Melanesia.


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

Terrestrial or epiphytic ferns. Rhizome erect or creeping, with scales and/or hairs. Fertile and sterile fronds similar; stipe dark-coloured, often shining; lamina simple, 1–5-pinnate, pinnatifid or basally pedate; veins free or anastomosing, without free veinlets. Sori marginal, or apparently so, with or without indusia, often covered by reflexed margin of lamina, terminal on veins or spreading along them, and then without indusia; paraphyses present.

A cosmopolitan family containing a variable number of genera depending on the classification followed. Sometimes treated as monogeneric, but here including 2 other genera recorded from the Islands.


1 Sori discrete, kidney-shaped or subcircular


1: Sori merged, usually linear

2 Fronds 2- or 3-pinnate; pinnules less than 1 cm long


2: Fronds simply pinnate; pinnae 2–7 cm long



Sp. Pl. 2: 1094(1753)
Gen. Pl. 5th edn, 485 (1754); from the Greek adiantos (dry, unwetted), a name given by Greek authors to a plant with unwettable leaves, possibly A. capillus-veneris

Type: A. capillus-veneris L.

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome short, creeping or erect, scaly at apex. Fronds: stipe erect, wiry, often lustrous; lamina 1–3 (–5)-pinnate or pedate, hairy or glabrous; rachis not grooved; pinnules sessile or stalked, often fan-shaped, usually marginally toothed; veins free and dichotomously branched. Sori apparently marginal, protected by reflexed flap from margin, discrete, circular or kidney-shaped.

A mainly pantropical genus of c. 200 species, especially from South America, but with a few temperate species; 2 species native to Norfolk Is. and 3 to Lord Howe Is.

G.Bentham, Filices, Adiantum, Fl. Austral. 7: 722–725 (1878).

1 Fronds 3-pinnate; petiolules attached to centre of base of pinnules; pinnules rounded obovate-cuneate, not arranged in a close series on either side of pinna rachis (L.H.Is.)

1. A. aethiopicum

1: Frond 2-pinnate or pedate, petiolules attached at basal corner of pinnules; pinnules dimidiate, oblong to rhomboid, arranged in a close series on either side of pinna rachis

2 Pinnae 1–3 (–4), rarely a small additional one; frond 2-pinnate; lamina glabrous except for 1–few stiff black setae on lower edge (N.Is.)

2. A. diaphanum

2: Pinnae 6–10 (–12); frond pedate or sub-pedate; lamina covered, especially below, with short or long pale hairs

3 Lamina covered, especially below, with numerous, longish, thin, pale, flexuous hairs; frond strictly pedate (N.Is., L.H.Is.)

3. A. pubescens

3: Lamina covered, especially below, with numerous, short, ±rigid hairs, less than 0.5 mm long; frond subpedate, not strictly pedate (L.H.Is.)

4. A. hispidulum

Syst. Nat. 10th edn, 2: 1329(1759)

T: South Africa; syn: LINN 1252/15 & 16; IDC microfiche 177/2.733/8 & 9. Being described from African material it was given the epithet which at that time was widely applied to Africa.

Adiantum aethiopicum var. nodosum Bonap., Notes Pteridologiques 1: 196 (1915).T: Queensland, J.MacGillivray F5; holo: ?P n.v.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 13, fig. 43 (1981); S.Firth et al., Ferns New Zealand 12, 13 (1986); P.J.Brownsey & J.C.Smith-Dodsworth, New Zealand Ferns & Allied Pl. 45, fig. 44, 45, t. 7B–C (1989).

Rhizome stoloniferous, 2 mm diam., covered with brown scales. Fronds: stipe 5–15 cm tall, c. 1 mm diam., shining, flexuous, smooth, blackish; lamina alternately 3-pinnate; pinnae 10–20 cm long, delicate, light green; petiolule 1–5 mm long, central to pinnule base; pinnules 3–11 per pinna, not arranged in a close series on either side of the pinna rachis, rounded obovate-cuneate, with upper margin serrate. Sori 2–6 per pinnule, in marginal notches; 'indusium' reniform.


Lord Howe Is. Growing in the Northern Hills. Also known from New Zealand (North Is.), Australia and South Africa.

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