Trichomanes venosum


venosum: veined; from the latin vena; conspicuous veins

Common Name(s)

veined bristle fern, veined filmy 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


Trichomanes venosum R.Br.



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



Crepidomanes venosum (R.Br.) Bostock, Phlebiophyllum venosum (R.Br.) Bosch; Polyphlebium venosum (R.Br.) Copel.


Indigenous. New Zealand: Kermadec (Raoul Island), North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Also Australia


Coastal to montane. A widespread and common filmy fern in the wetter parts of New Zealand. This species is usually found in closed forest where it the characteristic epiphyte of tree fern (Cyathea and Dicksonia spp.) trunks, though it will colonise other suitable trees. It is also found on rock faces, amongst moss on boulders, in tree caves and very rarely on damp, moss and liverwort encrusted ground.


Epiphytic (rarely terrestrial) fern usually forming dense carpets on suitable substrates. Rhizomes 0.2-0.8 mm diameter, widely creeping, much-branched and interwoven; densely hairy, hairs long, golden brown. Fronds 20-180 mm long, bright green, translucent, venation conspicuous. Stipe 8-55 mm long, slender, not winged. Rachises winged. Lamina 20-110 × 15-65 mm, lanceolate to elliptic. somewhat irregular, 1-pinnatifid, 1(-2)-pinnate, glabrescent (hairs when present unbranched). Ultimate segments 1.5-6.0 mm wide; margins crenate; apex obtuse, truncate, often notched; veins pinnately branched; false veins absent. Sori immersed in short basal acroscopic lobes; involucre narrowly cylindrical. tapering to base, 1.5-4.0 × 0.8-1.2 mm, narrowly winged; mouth broadly dilated, sometimes bilabiate; receptacle exserted up to 10 mm beyond mouth.

Similar Taxa

Trichomanes venosum is easily recognised by the bright green, translucent, prominently veined fronds.



Flower Colours

No Flowers



Propagation Technique

Difficult - should not be removed from the wild


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 72

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where to buy

Not Commercially available.

Taxonomic Notes

Previously NZPCN had followed Ebihara et al. (2006) in recognising Abrodictyum as distinct from Trichomanes - recently Brownsey & Perrie (2016) have rejected this idea favouring a return to the past broad circumscription of Trichomanes used in New Zealand.



Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (23 April 2011) based on Bostock & Spokes (1998)

References and further reading

Bostock, P.D.; Spokes, T.M. 1998: Hymenophyllaceae: Flora of Australia 48: 116-148.

Brownsey, P.J. & Perrie, L.R. 2016: Hymenophyllaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D.
Flora of New Zealand - Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 15. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.

Ebihara, A.; Dubuisson, J-Y.; Iwatsuki, K.; Hennequin, S.; Ito, M. 2006: A taxonomic revision of the Hymenophyllaceae. Blumea 51: 2-57

This page last updated on 9 Apr 2016