T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Asplenium flaccidum (Hanging Spleenwort)

Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Pteridophyta
Class:Pteridopsida
Order:Polypodiales
Family:Aspleniaceae
Genus:Asplenium L.
Species:A. flaccidum
Binomial name: Asplenium flaccidum
Common name : Hanging Spleenwort, Drooping Spleenwort , Weeping Spleenwort,  Makawe,

The family AspleniaceaT ferns are easily recognised by having sporangia in rows along the veins on the lower surface of pinnae (leaflets). Sporangia in each row are partially obscured by a covering (indusium) attached to one side. This is a large, distinctive group with about 20 species in New Zealand.  Asplenium flaccidum is a common epiphytic of this species of fern. The plant and the species name flaccidum is derives from the Latin root meaning drooping.  It is usually found growing from the trunks of trees and tree ferns in the bush. It’s limp, dull green, hanging fronds reach up to 1m in length and are quite thick and leathery to touch.

Asplenium flaccidum description: Rhizome short-creeping, thick, covered with dark brown to black scales. Its fronds pendent, to 90 cm long, 1–2-pinnate with pinnae often deeply pinnatisect or 2-pinnatisect, veins free; lamina bright green, thick and leathery, never giving rise to proliferous buds. The sori appearing marginal, solitary on each secondary pinna, 2–7 mm long.

Photo taken in Mt Egmont/Taranaki Reserve




A juvenile fern Asplenium flaccidum (Hanging Spleenwort) Photographed at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.