Pyrrosia elaeagnifolia


Pyrrosia: flame coloured; from the Greek purros; the colour of the hairs on its leaves
elaeagnifolia: eleagnus leaf

Common Name(s)

leather-leaf fern, Pyrrosia

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


Pyrrosia elaeagnifolia (Bory) Hovenkamp



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



Pyrrosia serpens sensu Allan (1961); Pyrrosia eleagnifolia (Bory) Hovenkamp orth. var.


Endemic. Kermadec, Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands.


Coastal to montane. Common as an epiphyte on both indigenous and exotic trees and shrubs, also on rocks, cliffs faces and in urban areas on buildings, walls, bridges and fence posts.


Epiphytic or rupestral rhizomatous fern. Rhizomes long-creeping, often densely interwoven, young portions densely invested in red-brown to fawn coloured scales. Stipes reduced to phyllopodia borne in intervals along rhizome. Fronds coriaceous, fleshy to almost succulent, undivided, 30-200 × 5-20(-30) mm; adaxially yellow-green to dark green (rarely glaucescent), glabrescent, initially sparsely covered in long straight to somewhat flexuous pale-yellow to translucent caducous hairs; abaxially densely covered in fawn or white-coloured stellate hairs, aside from midrib, veins not evident on either surface;lamina variable; sterile examples broadly ovate, rhomboidal, suborbicular, to elliptic (very rarely linear); fertile linear, linear-lanceolate to suborbicular. Sori without indusia, ovoid, ellipsoid to rounded, in 2-3(-4) irregular rows (rarely more) either side of midrib and set away from frond margins. Spores yellow.

Similar Taxa




Flower Colours

No Flowers



Propagation Technique

Very easily grown. Does best in dry, sunny situations. An excellent plant for rockeries, stone walls and in pots. This species often self establishes into gardens within urban areas as it is commonly found growing on the trunks of introduced trees and shrubs in urban parks, street avenues and urban indigenous forest remnants.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 74

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family



Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 9 April 2011. Description by P.J. de Lange.

This page last updated on 27 Oct 2017