June 28, 2020

New Zealand Lycopodiaceae guide - a prototype for a guide to ferns?

I’ve put together a guide to Aotearoa’s 12 species of Lycopodiaceae. This complements and is based on our recently published electronic Flora of New Zealand chapter for this family.

The guide is a prototype, and maybe a bit rough around the edges. But I hope it’ll still be useful. We’ve tried to focus on the distinguishing features in an accessible way (i.e., photos, limited jargon). No matter where you live in New Zealand, you’ll have some of these species near you.

The guide is available for free as a 12 MB pdf from my Google Drive.

Feedback is welcome. For instance:
• Would you like a similar guide for New Zealand's ferns?
• Is the jargon at an okay level?
• Is the pdf file useful (e.g., for printing)? Would you prefer a different format (e.g., webpage)?
• Even if this was available free online (for all of the common ferns and lycophytes), would you buy a professionally-produced book with the same content?

Suggestions for changes welcome.

Note – if you wondering "who/what are the Lycopodiaceae?", the guide answers that!

Posted on June 28, 2020 06:55 by leonperrie leonperrie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

April 01, 2020

Tips on fern identification

For those on facebook, I'm taking a close look during #lockdown at the New Zealand ferns I have growing at home. Some are the usual self-sown suspects, while others that I have in cultivation are maybe a bit more unusual.

I've started with three similar-looking spleenworts: Asplenium oblongifolium, A. obtusatum, and A. lepidotum. Next up will be Asplenium polyodon, and then I might have a look through what I have from the Pteridaceae, Polypodiaceae, and Blechnaceae (and return to more Asplenium later).

You can find more pictures and my tips for identification at www.facebook.com/nzferns

FernsAtHome

Posted on April 01, 2020 08:50 by leonperrie leonperrie | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 13, 2020

A new species of Cheilolejeunea liverwort

For those interested in small plants, here's a new species of liverwort. Cheilolejeunea rodneyi is named after the Wellington Botanical Society stalwart Rodney Lewington.
https://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2020/01/13/a-new-liverwort-species-for-wellington/

Posted on January 13, 2020 07:23 by leonperrie leonperrie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 09, 2020

Australian ferns with relatives in NZ

Here are a few species of Australian ferns that have close relatives in New Zealand. Can you guess the NZ relation?
More examples on the New Zealand Ferns facebook page, along with answers!

https://www.facebook.com/nzferns/

Posted on January 09, 2020 07:35 by leonperrie leonperrie | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 06, 2020

Ferns and lycophytes shared with Australia

I was fortunate to spend Christmas and New Year in Melbourne. Some 80-90 species of ferns and lycophytes occur naturally in both Australia and New Zealand. Below are a few examples of what we saw near Melbourne.
I have photos of many more such species on the New Zealand Ferns facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nzferns/

Posted on January 06, 2020 08:51 by leonperrie leonperrie | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 05, 2019

A second species of Phlegmariurus

[From https://www.facebook.com/nzferns/]

New Zealand now has a second species of Phlegmariurus: Phlegmariurus billardierei. And it is an endemic - the only species of Lycopodiaceae that is found only in Aotearoa.

The spore-producing cones are the key to distinguishing the two Phlegmariurus species in New Zealand. In Phlegmariurus billardierei, the leaves immediately above the cones are appressed to the stems. In Phlegmariurus varius, the cones grade into spreading leaves.
In (A) is Phlegmariurus billardierei, with the spore-producing leaves of the cones at left, and appressed sterile leaves at right.

In (B) is Phlegmariurus varius, which always has at least some spreading spore-producing leaves (note the white discs - these are the sporangia). This means the cones seems less distinct than they are in P. billardierei.

Both species are widespread in New Zealand, and commonly grow together. Don't rely on overall form or habitat to tell them apart!

The name billardierei dates back to 1841, but it hasn't been in use for 35 years or more. We've newly moved it into Phlegmariurus.

For more details, you should be able to freely download a pdf from this link:
https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Q94TKDDGCFMWYK35SAG8/full?target=10.1080/0028825X.2019.1668438
(Email me if that doesn't work, and I'll send you the pdf.)

All of the plants below are Phlegmariurus varius. Even with the segregation of P. billardierei, P. varius continues to live up to its name.
Phlegmariurus varius can be a big, pendulous epiphyte, a gracile epiphyte, or a stout, upright terrestrial plant (especially in alpine areas).

Posted on October 05, 2019 04:19 by leonperrie leonperrie | 6 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2018

Hiya distans, a new name for the fern previously called Hypolepis distans

It turns out that Hypolepis distans is not closely related to the other species of Hypolepis. This blog post sets out the case for instead calling it Hiya distans.

https://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2018/10/12/new-zealand-gains-a-fern-genus-named-after-the-chinese-imperial-guard-hiya/

I'd appreciate feedback on whether people think we should adopt this change on iNaturalist. I recommend we do wait until/if it is picked up by the New Zealand Plant Names Database

Posted on October 11, 2018 20:28 by leonperrie leonperrie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

September 01, 2018

Why do scientific names change? Kiokio and the other Blechnum ferns as a case study

Do scientific names change too often? I think they sometimes do.

I explore this question in this Te Papa blog post: Why do scientific names change?

I'm keen to hear what you think. Please leave a comment at the bottom of the Te Papa blog post. How much taxonomic change do you like ?

The Blechnum ferns make an interesting case study in this respect. One approach sees Doodia move into Blechnum; the other approach keeps Doodia but splits Blechnum into many genera.

For instance, Blechnum fluviatile or Cranfillia fluviatilis? Blechnum filiforme, or Icarus filiformis?

Posted on September 01, 2018 09:41 by leonperrie leonperrie | 2 observations | 8 comments | Leave a comment

June 28, 2018

New fern and lycophyte eFloraNZ chapters published

Very pleased to share four recently published chapters from the Flora of New Zealand - Ferns and Lycophytes: Aspleniaceae, Dennstaedtiaceae, Tectariaceae, and Selaginellaceae.

pdfs are freely downloadable from: http://www.nzflora.info/publications.html

https://www.facebook.com/nzferns

Posted on June 28, 2018 09:16 by leonperrie leonperrie | 1 comment | Leave a comment

March 08, 2018

How tall can Blechnum fraseri get?

Te Papa's Pat Brownsey is beginning to draft the eFloraNZ treatment for Blechnaceae, and he wants verified minima and maxima for quantifiable characteristics. We estimate the plant with me in the picture is c. 900 mm, which is the tallest we know of. Please tell me if you know of taller (preferably with pictures uploaded to NatureWatch!).

https://inaturalist.nz/observations/10135572

Posted on March 08, 2018 08:29 by leonperrie leonperrie | 0 comments | Leave a comment