Loxogramme dictyopteris

Common Name(s)

Lance fern

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Loxogramme dictyopteris (Mett.) Copel.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class



Polypodium cunninghamii Hook.; Polypodium dictyopteris Mett.; Dictyopteris lanceolata J.Sm.; Anarthropteris lanceolata (Hook. f.) Pic.Serm.; Polypodium attenuatum sensu A.Rich.; Anarthropteris dictyopteris (Mett.) Copel.; Anarthropteris lanceolata (J.Sm.) L.B.Moore in Allan; Dictymia lanceolata J.Sm. ex Hook.f.


Endemic. New Zealand: North, South and Chatham Islands, widespread in the North Island except for the central volcanic plateau and adjacent axial ranges, common in the northern South Island to Greymouth and Banks Peninsula. On the Chatham Islands scarce, reaching its national southern limit at Canister Cove, Rangiauria (Pitt Island).


Coastal to montane but mostly in coastal and lowland areas. Loxogramme seems to be most abundant in regions where base rich rocks such as basalt, limestone and calcareous sandstones and mudstones are exposed, in these sites it often forms luxuriant carpets on shaded rock outcrops. However, Loxogramme is not tied to base rich rocks and is sometimes nearly as common on rhyolite and ignimbrite exposures. It is also a common low epiphyte on trees, especially in alluvial forest.


Epiphytic, rupestral or terricolous fern forming leafy patches over substratum, Rhizomes tufted, scaly, producing numerous creeping, proliferous roots; these producing new plants at intervals. Fronds undivided, subcoriaceous, 70-300 × 7-23 mm, adaxially dark green to bright green above, abaxially paler, narrowly elliptic (rarely broadly so to almost rhomboidal), tapering to an acute apex, base narrowly cuneate extending as an indistinct stipe wing; midrib prominent, veins inconspicuous, reticulate. Sori oval, prominent, abaxially sunken, thereby forming a prominent bulge on the adaxial laminal surface, in one row either side of midrib set away from pinna margins, indusia absent. Spores orange-brown.

Similar Taxa

Easily recognised by the proliferous roots, such that this species usually covers much of the surrounding substratum in a mass of simple, subcoriaceous, dark green to bright green fronds. The prominent, oval, abaxially sunken sori are also characteristic of this species.


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Although it can be cultivated Loxogramme is often difficult to maintain. Its does best in shaded, permanently damp (but not waterlogged) conditions, planted in a rich, free draining soil enriched with lime and humus.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 74

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Minute spores are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).





Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (13 January 2012). Description adapted from Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth (2000)

References and further reading

Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland, David Bateman

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 2009 Vol. 11 No. 4 pp. 285-309

This page last updated on 10 May 2014