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


Microsorum pustulatum (Hound's tongue)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Microsorum
Species: M. pustulatum
Binomial name: Microsorum pustulatum, 
Subordinate taxa: Microsorum pustulatum subsp. pustulatum
Synonyms: Microsorum diversifolium, Phymatosorus diversifolius 
Common names: Hound's tongue, kowaowao, Kowhaowhao, pāraharaha

Microsorum pustulatum is an epiphytic fern native to Australia and New Zealand. The glossy, bright, green fronds vary in shape and size. Fronds may be simple fronds tapering gradually at the base, acuminate at the apex to 22.5 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, to deeply pinnatifid to 37.5 cm long and up to15 cm wide. They spread by fragmentation of the conspicuous bright green and brown hairy rhizomes. Fronds are bright green, glossy and leathery. They are uncut and strap-shaped in young plants and once-cut on mature plants. It is common in coastal to montane areas. It is often epiphytic (growing on trees), usually in slightly drier places. It has thick rhizomes and large round sori (spore capsules) on the underside of fertile fronds.



Microsorum pustulatum with adult fronds growing as an epiphyte. 

Top surface of a fertile frond.
  

The underside of a fertile frond with round unprotected sori.
 


 
A sterile frond. The young ones are edible.
 

Juvenile fronds.

A range of juvenile fronds shapes

Photos of the Subordinate taxa: Microsorum pustulatum subsp. pustulatum.
The upper surface of a frond.


Developing sori


A video on Microsorum pustulatum