Pellaea falcata

Many of New Zealand’s threatened ferns are found in warmer climates on landmasses north of New Zealand, with New Zealand representing their southern distribution limits. These species tend to be restricted to northern areas of the country and occupy coastal and geothermal sites. Other species are restricted to habitats such as wetlands, which have suffered drastic modification and loss, or are palatable to stock and feral animals.

Key Features

  • A shortly rhizomatous, tufted fern, with stipes up to 25 cm long and covered in spreading scales.
  • Leaves up to 50 cm long, glossy green above, with distinctly oblong-falcate or falcate pinnules and sori scattered along the margin of the leaf.

Distribution and Habitat

  • Restricted to northern North Island where it is known from a few locations in Northland, Auckland and Coromandel.
  • Coastal in short scrub, on cliff faces and in open forest, inland on scoria and basalt rocks.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Natural succession by taller vegetation can shade it out.
  • Competition with exotic plants.

Management Opportunities and Methods

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Protection of habitat.
  • Weed control.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN).
  • Weed management - Department of Conservation, Regional Councils.
  • References
    • Brownsey, P.J. & Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. (2000). New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. David Bateman, Auckland.