Umbrella fern (Sticherus cunninghamii)
Division: Pteridophyta (native to New Zealand.)
Class: Pteridopsida/ Polypodiopsida (disputed)
Species: S cunninghamii
Binominal name: Sticherus cunninghamii
Synonym: Gleichenia cunninghamii
Common name:Umbrella fern, Tapuwae kotuku, Waekura
Sticherus cunninghamii, is a creeping native ground fern characterised by its drooping fronds that resemble an umbrella. The fronds are whitish below, rising up to three tiers, each forking three to four times in star-like patterns. The fronds are 15 - 30 cm long on erect stipes (stalks) between 20 and 50 cm high.
The stipeses have pale brown scales and hairs.
It is found in many parts of the country and in many areas it is only found at higher altitudes. Its habitat is dry areas, open forest and roadside banks.
Photographed Egmont National Park.
Underside of frond
Photos below of young fern spreading its fronds.
Next page: Shiny Fan Fern (Sticherus flabellatus)