Doodia australis


Doodia: Named for Samuel Doody, 17th century London apothecary and curator
australis: southern

Common Name(s)

rasp 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


Doodia australis (Parris) Parris



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



Doodia media subsp. australis Parris; Doodia kunthiana sensu A.Cunn.; Doodia australis (Parris) Parris, Blechnum parrisiae Christenh.


Indigenous. Kermadec Islands (Raoul and Macauley Islands). New Zealand: Three Kings, North and South Islands from Te Paki south to Wellington, the Marlborough Sounds, north-west Nelson and Banks Peninsula. Abundant north of the Waikato, otherwise scarce. Present in Australia, Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.


Coastal to lowland in open or forested sites, within light scrub, in rough pasture, and even known as a weedy fern of urban gardens and environments.


Vegetative reproduction by stolons or shortly branching rhizome. Rhizome rarely prostrate and creeping; clad in dense black scales. Fertile and sterile fronds mostly similar sometimes moderately dimorphic. Fronds more or less erect or sterile fronds sometimes inclined to prostrate; harsh; lamina 110-600 mm long. Stipes and raches bearing brown scales, these more persistent at the stipe base though mostly shed at frond maturation; pubescent. Lower pinnae attached by costae, sometimes with auricles developed, or very rarely adnate to the rachis, lowest pair rarely longer than the pairs immediately above them; middle pinnae usually completely, but often partly, adnate, occasionally decurrent, rarely auriculate; upper pinnae adnate to decurrent. Pinnae c. 20-50 pairs or subopposite; middle pinnae rounded, acute or acuminate at apex. Terminal pinna 3-55 mm long ( 1/3 - 1/9 - 1/43 of frond length). Longest pinnae 5.0-100.0 × 2.5-10 mm. Distance between middle pinnae 1-8 mm (1/2-2X pinna width). Sori in one row, a second row often partly to nearly completely developed; discrete to more or less confluent, sometimes covering pinna midrib. Indusium c.2 mm long rarely less. more or less linear.

Similar Taxa

Doodia australis is distinguished from the other allied New Zealand Doodia species by the pink to red colour of the young emergent fronds; by the lower pinnae adnate (fused) to an unwidened base (adnate) or stalked (costate); by the pubescent rachis; by the terminal pinna being less than one third the total frond length; and by all or most of the pinnae in middle third of the frond partly or completely adnate to rachis. As currently circumscribed Doodia australis remains a variable species with a range of reasonably well marked races known, some of these may yet warrant some level of taxonomic rank.


Not applicable - spore producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not applicable - spore producing

Propagation Technique

Extremely easily grown from fresh spore (it often self sows around the garden, and in some sites self-establishes through wind blown spores). Reasonably frost-tolerant, and does best in full sun, especially on poorly drained clay soils. Drought tolerant.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 128

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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


Perrie et al. (2014) advocated for a broadened circumscription of Blechnaceae whereby a number of genera traditionally recognized as distinct from Blechnum were merged within it. However, this view has not met with universal acceptance (see Gasper et al. 2016) and does not seem to be followed worldwide (PPG 2016). From a New Zealand perspective the decision to merge Doodia in Blechnum, and rejection of Diploblechnum has not been universally accepted either e.g., Wilcox & Warden (2017), and as such it is considered appropriate to follow world opinion and accept the taxonomy of Gasper et al. (2016) and recommendations of the PPG (2016).

Fact Sheet Citation

Please cite as:  de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of Access): Doodia australis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. http://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora_details.aspx?ID=2110 (Date website was queried)


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (4 March 2012). Description adapted from Parris (1973) where this species was treated as Doodia media subsp. australis.

References and further reading

Gasper, A.L.; de Oliveira Dittrich, V.A.; Smith A.R.; Salino, A. 2016:  A classification for Blechnaceae (Polypodiales: Polypodiopsida): New genera, resurrected names, and combinations. Phytotaxa 275: 191–227

Parris, B.S. 1973: The genus Doodia (Blechnaceae: Filicales) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 10: 585-610.

Perrie, L.R.; Wilson, R.K.; Shepherd, L.D.; Ohlsen, D.J.; Batty, E.L.; Brownsey, P.J.; Bayly, M.J. 2014: Molecular phylogenetics and generic taxonomy of Blechnaceae ferns. Taxon 63: 745-758.

PPG 1: The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group 2016: A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 54: 563-603.

Wilcox, M.; Warden, J. 2017: Botany of Hillsborough coast bush reserves, Manukau Harbour, Auckland. Auckland Botanical Society Journal 72: 32-46.



This page last updated on 5 Sep 2017