Hounds Tongue Fern
New Zealand Status: Indigenous
Conservation Status: Not Threatened
Microsorum pustulatum is a smallish fern that creeps extensively, either along the ground or up tree trunks. It often grows as an epiphyte. The glossy, bright green, fronds vary in shape and size with several pairs of lobes that are noticeably broader in sterile fronds compared to fertile fronds. The spore producing sporangia form circular, unprotected, orange sori with one row on each side of the central veins on the undersides of fertile fronds. The sori visibly bulge on the uppersides of the fronds. The creeping rhizome is up to about 10 mm in diameter.
A common fern found in coastal to montane open and forested areas. Often found growing with Microsorum scandens but Microsorum pustulatum is more drought tolerant.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader