Scientific Name:
Lecanopteris Reinw., Flora 8(3): 48 (1825)
  • = Dendroconche Copel., Philipp. J. Sci., C 6: 91 (1911)
  • = Zealandia Testo & A.R.Field, Syst. Bot. 44: 749 (2019)
Type Taxon:
Lecanopteris carnosa (Reinw.) Blume
From the Greek lekane (a basin), and pteris (a fern), a reference to the sori in concave lobes in some species.

Epiphytic, rupestral or terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes long-creeping (NZ) or short-creeping (not NZ), terete or occasionally dorsiventrally flattened, cavities lacking (NZ) or with hollow spaces inside or below, often associated with ants (not NZ), lacking sclerenchyma strands, pruinose or not, scaly (NZ) or without scales, or nearly so and spiny (not NZ), glandular hairs absent (NZ) or rarely present (not NZ). Rhizome scales peltate, clathrate, narrowly ovate to orbicular, squarrose or appressed. Fronds monomorphic or dimorphic, articulated to short stalks (phyllopodia) at intervals along the rhizome. Laminae undivided, variously lobed or deeply 1-pinnatifid, or rarely 2-pinnatifid, herbaceous to coriaceous, virtually glabrous. Veins reticulate, in type 5a or 5b pattern (Nooteboom 1997), usually forming 1–3 series of areoles between costa and lobe margin, lacking main lateral veins that extend in a ± continuous straight line from costa to near the margin; largest areoles adjacent to costa, with free included veinlets, ending in hydathodes. Sori round or slightly elongate (NZ) or rarely the sporangia acrostichoid (not NZ), superficial or impressed into the lamina and bulging on adaxial surface, arranged in one row either side of costa (NZ) or in more than one row, or scattered over the lamina surface, or deeply immersed in marginal semi-circular projections (not NZ), not confluent with age, occurring throughout the lamina; paraphyses absent (NZ) or sometimes present as simple uniseriate hairs (not NZ); exindusiate. Spores monolete, bilaterally symmetrical, finely rugulate to tuberculate, rarely with twisted strands around the spore (not NZ).


A genus of 24 species (Perrie et al. 2021).

As outlined under the family treatment, an expanded Lecanopteris is recognised here to include species previously treated in Lecanopteris sens. str., Dendroconche and Zealandia (Perrie et al. 2021).

1Rhizomes usually <4 mm diameter; laminae dull green, herbaceous, exuding musky aroma when fresh, alate for 10–150 mm below lowest pinna lobescandens
Rhizomes usually >4 mm diameter; laminae bright green, coriaceous, lacking musky aroma when fresh, alate for 5–40 mm below lowest pinna lobe2
2Rhizome scales appressed, blackish-brown; laminae highly dimorphic, from undivided to deeply 1-pinnatifid; hydathodes prominent on upper surfacepustulata
Rhizome scales squarrose, orange-brown; laminae usually monomorphic, deeply 1-pinnatifid; hydathodes inconspicuous on upper surfacenovae-zealandiae

Most species of Lecanopteris occur in tropical Malesia (peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea) but a few extend into south temperate regions; five in Australia and three in New Caledonia. One species endemic and two indigenous to New Zealand.

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Number of species in New Zealand within Lecanopteris Reinw.
Indigenous (Endemic)1
Indigenous (Non-endemic)2

n = 36, 37 (Hennipman et al. 1990).

Brownsey, P.B.; Parris, B.S.; Perrie, L.R. 2021: Polypodiaceae. In: Breitwieser, I. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 1. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Copeland, E.B. 1911: Papuan ferns collected by the Reverend Copeland King. Philippine Journal of Science. Section C, Botany 6: 65–92.
Hennipman, E.; Veldhoen, P.; Kramer, K.U. 1990: Polypodiaceae. In: Kramer, K.U.; Green, P.S. Pteridophytes and gymnosperms. Vol. 1. In: Kubitzki, K. (ed.) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Kramer, K.U.; Green, P.S. 1990: Pteridophytes and gymnosperms. Kubitzki, K. (ed.) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Vol. 1. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Nooteboom, H.P. 1997: The microsoroid ferns (Polypodiaceae). Blumea 42: 261–395.
Perrie, L.R.; Field, A.R.; Ohlsen, D.J.; Brownsey, P.J. 2021: Expansion of the fern genus Lecanopteris to encompass some species previously included in Microsorum and Colysis (Polypodiaceae). Blumea 66: 242–248.
Reinwardt, C.G.C. 1825: Verbesserungen und Druckfehler. Flora oder allgemeine botanische Zeitung 8(3): 47–48.
Testo, W.L.; Field, A.R.; Sessa, E.B.; Sundue, M. 2019: Phylogenetic and morphological analyses support the resurrection of Dendroconche and the recognition of two new genera on Polypodiaceae subfamily Microsoroideae. Systematic Botany 44(4): 737–752.