Microsorum novae-zealandiae


Microsorum: Variant of microsorium, meaning small sori (spores on the underside of fern fronds)
novae-zealandiae: of New Zealand

Common Name(s)

Mountain hounds tongue fern

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Sparse


Microsorum novae-zealandiae (Baker) Copel.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Phymatosorus novae-zealandiae (Baker) Pic. Serm.; Phymatodes novae-zealandiae (Barker) Pic. Serm.; Polypodium novae-zealandiae Baker in Hook.


Endemic. North Island from about Maumaupaki (Camels Hump) and Table Mountain (Kauaeranga Valley) and Mt Karioi south to the southern Tararua Ranges.


An epiphytic species of montane to subalpine (600 - 1400 m a.s.l.) cloud forest and scrub. Very rarely found growing on rocks or logs on the forest floor.


Rhizomes long creeping, 5-10 mm diameter, covered in erect, orange-brown (rust-coloured) hyaline scales. Stipes 100-300 mm long, pale brown, wiry and pliant. Frond lamina pinnate, 100-1200 x 70-350 mm, dark green or yellow green, upper surface glossy, undersides dull and paler in colour, ovate, coriaceous, more or less glabrous. Pinnae in 3-30 pairs, 70-180 x 5-15 mm, long tapering to obtuse or subacute apices, bases adnate, margins smooth or undulose. Sori conspicuous, orange, positioned near margins of pinna.

Similar Taxa

Readily distinguished from the other two New Zealand species by its restriction to North Island montane cloud forests, by its larger, narrower, non-fragrant fronds, and by the distinctive erect, orange-brown, hyaline rhizome scales.


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened. A fairly widespread endemic of upper montane and cloud forests. It can be locally very common.

Chromosome No.

2n = 74

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (9 January 2005). Description adapted from Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000).

References and further reading

Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman

This page last updated on 21 Dec 2013