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


Leptopteris superba (Prince of Wales Fern)

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Osmundales
Family: Osmundaceae
Genus: Leptopteris
Species: Leptopteris superba
Common name: Prince of Wales Feather, Crepe fern, Heruheru,  Prince of Wales Fern, Royal fern, Cinnamon fern,

Leptopteris superba is a primitive ferns characterised by large fronds (25-100cm x 8-25cm) forming a spreading crown.. It has a stout rhizome, sometimes giving rise to a short trunk.  The elliptical fronds are characterised by rich shading and textures.  It is these fronds that taper to each end that make this fern easily recognised.
It has large sporangia that are scattered on the underside of the fronds. 
It is an endemic species rare in Northland and Coromandel but common from Bay and Plenty to Wellington. It is found on Mt Egmont/Taranaki and in the eastern valleys of Taranaki. It is common on the West coast of the South Island. Its habitat is cool shaded wet lowland to montane forests. 



A small  Leptopteris superba growing North Egmont/Taranaki.


Moving the near fronds away to show a short trunk that grow to about 100mm high.

Top surface of a frond


The underside of a frond showing the large scattered sporangia.