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


Maidenhair (Common) Adiantum cunninghamii

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae
Genus: Adiantum
Species: Adiantum cunninghamii
Common name: Common Maidenhair Fern, Puhinui , Tawatawa

Adiantum cunninghamii is a common native ground fern with a creeping rhyzome which is found on dry forest floors. This fern has fronds which appear a bluey green colour. The black shiny stipe (midrib) is longish and holds the frond up above ground growing species. It is hairy at the base and this can be used to distinguish it from the smaller maiden hair (Adiantum diaphanum) but the most obvious difference is that the A. diaphanum has only three branches at the end of the stipe.  Its tiny spores are wind dispersed.