Davallia tasmanii subsp. tasmanii


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)

Davallia, Three Kings Davallia

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

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 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - IE
2009 - IE


Davallia tasmanii Field subsp. tasmanii



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



Davallia tasmanii Cheeseman - a heterotypic later homonym


Endemic. Three Kings islands group. Present on North-East, Manawa Tawhi (Great) South West, West Islands and also Arbutus and Hinemoa Rocks in the Princes Group


Mainly terrestrial but also present as a low epiphyte and also on fallen logs and branches. In full sun of heavy shade.


Terrestrial or low epiphytic, 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 12.5 x 2.2 mm, peltate, triangular-ovate, tapering to apex, pale orange-brown to yellow-brown, toothed from base to apex, bearing multiseptate hairs along margins from base to apex. Stipe black, stout, rather wiry, 62-210 mm long, glabrous except for scales at base. Frond 51-210 x 61-280 mm, deltoid-pentangular, tripinnate then pinnatifid, coriaceous, glabrescent, dark green, green to yellow-green. Lowest primary pinnae longer and broader than others the basal basiscopic secondary pinnae 22-84 x 11-48 mm. Larger ultimate sterile segments incised, lobed or toothed; false veins scarce, if present inconspicuous, extending only half way to the junction of the true veins. Larger ultimate fertile segments notched, bearing 1(-2) sori. Indusia to 3 x 1.8 mm. Spores viable.

Similar Taxa

Davallia tasmanii subsp. cristata von Konrat, Braggins et de Lange is very similar. This subspecies is endemic to Puketi Forest, Northland, North Island, and differs by the frequent rather than infrequent presence of conspicuous false veins which usually rather than rarely extend to the junction of the true veins, the usual prescence of one rather than several sori per segment; by the truncate rather than notched fertile laminal segment; and by the restriction of multiseptate hairs in mature rhizome to the scale apex rather than their presence from the scale base to the apex. Davallia tasmanii subsp. cristata is unusual in that it appears to be completely sterile.


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Can be grown from spores (rather slow) and rooted pieces. Rhizome cuttings strike easily enough though they can be slow to take. Resents root disturbance, so once established it is better left alone. Easy in a pot, and does very well even when root bound. Prefers a sunny situation in a well drained potting medium (bark is ideal). Will grow in a garden provided it is kept free from competiting plants. Frost tender.


A narrow range endemic abundant within its only known habitats.

Chromosome No.

2n = 80

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Occasionally available from mainline and specialist native plant nurseries.


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.

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 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 15 Aug 2014