Davallia tasmanii subsp. cristata


Davallia: Named after Edmond Davall, 18th century English-born Swiss botanist
tasmanii: Named after Abel Janzoon Tasman (1603-1659) who in the 17th century was the first European to sight Van Dieman's land (now known as Tasmania)

Common Name(s)

Puketi Haresfoot Fern

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical

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 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Critical


2012 - CD, OL, RF, RR, St
2009 - CD, St, RF, OL, RR


Davallia tasmanii subsp. cristata von Konrat, Braggins et de Lange



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





Endemic. North Island, Puketi Forest


In open sites on the margin of a cliff face where it grows within Kauri Forest on leaf litter and also as a low epiphyte.


Usually terrestrial, creeping fern with long, widely creeping, branched rhizomes. Rhizomes 2-8 mm diam., rooting at intervals, initially densely covered in scales, these shedding with age. Rhizome scales on new growth, up to 10 x 2 mm, peltate, triangular-ovate, tapering to apex, pale orange-brown to yellow-brown, toothed from base to apex, with multiseptate hairs restricted to apex. Stipe black, stout, rather wiry, 20-180 mm long, glabrous except for scales at base. Frond 24-280 x 29-290 mm, deltoid-pentangular, tripinnate then pinnatifid, coriaceous, glabrescent, yellow-green to bright green. Lowest primary pinnae longer and broader than others the basal basiscopic secondary pinnae 6-81 x 3-61 mm. Larger ultimate sterile segments incised, lobed or toothed; false veins frequent, conspicuous, extending almost to junction of true veins. Larger ultimate fertile segments truncate, bearing 1(-3) sori. Indusia 1.5 x 1.2 mm. Spores malformed, sterile.

Similar Taxa

Separated from D. tasmanii Field subsp. tasmanii by the apices of the mature rhizome scales bearing multiseptate hairs, by the frequent presence of conspicuous false veins, and by the truncate, fertile frond segments usually bearing only one sorus. This subspecies is apparently completely sterile, and may be represented in the wild by only a single clone.


Not applicable - spore producing (spores sterile)

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing (spores sterile)

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Can be grown in a well drained medium such as bark within a pot or tray. Very slow growing, prefers dappled light.


Known from a single site on a forested cliff face within a reserved area. The population is small and vulnerable to trampling by people and feral animals. The fern is considered so highly threatened because it occupies such a small area, and the wild population may comprise only a single sterile clone.

Chromosome No.

2n = c.79, 76-80

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 October 2003. Description adapted from von Konrat et al. (1999).

References and further reading

von Konrat, M. J.; Braggins, J. E.; de Lange, P. J. 1999: Davallia (Pteridophyta) in New Zealand, including description of a new subspecies of D. tasmanii. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 579-593.

This page last updated on 16 Apr 2014