Rumohra adiantiformis


Rumohra: after Rumohr
adiantiformis: resembling Adiantum, maiden hair fern

Common Name(s)

leathery shield fern, florists 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


Rumohra adiantiformis (G.Forst.) Ching



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



Polystichum adiantiforme


Indigenous. New Zealand: Three Kings, North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Also Central and South America, southern Africa, Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Seychelles, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand (depending on the way R. adiantiformis is circumscribed)


Coastal to montane. Epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial in forest or dense scrub. Usually in indigenous forest but also commonly seen epiphytic on willow (Salix spp.) along river banks, in gullies and on the margins of wetlands.


hizome 10–15 mm diameter, densely covered in long, golden brown to red-brown scales; margins entire or minutely toothed; apices acuminate. Fronds often widely spaced or aggregated toward rhizome apices, 0.2–0.9 m long. Stipes 0.2–0.8 m long, thick, densely invested by peltate, golden brown scales. Lamina 2–3-pinnate, coriaceous, 100–500 × 70–400 mm, ovate to deltoid, adaxially glossy dark green to yellow-green (sometimes pale orange-green), abaxially paler and dull, ± scaly. Primary and lower secondary pinnae stalked; ultimate segments oblong, obtused to rounded, crenate to bluntly lobed; veins immersed. Sori black when mature; indusium with a dark centre.

Similar Taxa

Davallia is superficially similar. Rumohra is easily separated from the New Zealand indigenous and naturalised Davallia by the dark black, circular sori. In the wild both species are rarely found together. Davallia tasmanii subsp. tasmanii is endemic to the Three Kings Islands - where it does on occasion grow with Rumohra; while D. tasmanii subsp. cristata is known from one site in Puketi Forest, Northland.


Not Applicable - Spore Producing

Flower Colours

No Flowers


Not Applicable - Spore Producing

Propagation Technique

Although the New Zealand race of Rumohra is easily grown it is slow to establish. Best results are obtained from plants attached to tree trunks of grown in hanging baskets. Rumohra prefers a humus enriched, damp free draining soil or potting medium. It does not like full sun and should not be allowed to dry out.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 82

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Notes on taxonomy

Rumohra adiantiformis is a polymorphic species. Some overseas races of it are popular in cultivation, where the long-lasting fronds are used for floral work. The most widespread cultivated race of this fern comes from South Africa, and this has been found sparingly established in Whanganui. The New Zealand plant has little resemblance this plant and as it is more fickly to cultivate it is unlikely to be used in the same way.


Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (13 November 2012). Description adapted from Jones (1998) and 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

Jones, D.L. 1998: Rumohra Pp. 401-402. Flora of Australia 48. Flora of Australia 48. Australian Biological Resources Study, CSIRO Canberra

This page last updated on 11 Aug 2014