Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Niphidium J.Sm., Hist. Fil. 99 (1875)
Type Taxon:
Niphidium americanum (Hook.) J.Sm.
From the Greek nipho- (snow) and -idius (resembling), a reference to the densely tomentose fronds of the type species.

Epiphytic or terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes short to long-creeping, terete, lacking cavities, occasionally pruinose, scaly. Rhizome scales clathrate, squarrose. Fronds monomorphic, articulated to rhizome, undivided, coriaceous, virtually glabrous. Veins reticulate; areoles with free included veinlets; hydathodes often present. Sori round or slightly elongate, superficial, arranged in single rows of 5–12 between the main lateral veins, not confluent with age; paraphyses present as abortive sporangia; exindusiate. Spores monolete, bilaterally symmetrical, smooth to slightly papillate.


A genus of 10 species (Lellinger 1972).


A neotropical genus occurring from Cuba and Mexico to Argentina and Uruguay. One species casual in New Zealand.

Number of species in New Zealand within Niphidium J.Sm.
Exotic: Casual1
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.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2015: Polypodiaceae (excluding Notogrammitis). In: Breitwieser, I; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 1. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J.; Cameron, E.K.; Parris, B.S. 2008: Checklist of dicotyledons, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 2004–06. New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 257–283.
Lellinger, D.B. 1972: A revision of the fern genus Niphidium. American Fern Journal 62: 101–120.
Smith, J. 1875: Historia Filicum; an exposition of the nature, number, and organography of ferns. Macmillan, London.