Scientific Name:
Odontosoria chinensis (L.) J.Sm. in Seemann, Bot. Voy. Herald 430 (1857)
  • Trichomanes chinense L., Sp. Pl. 1099 (1753) – as chinensis
  • Sphenomeris chinensis (L.) Maxon, J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 3: 144 (1913)
Type: not designated (Jarvis 2007)
chinensis (Latin) – from China.

Odontosoria chinensis is recognised by its terrestrial habit, short-creeping rhizomes, pale brown stipes and rachises, 3–4‑pinnate laminae, and narrowly obovate ultimate segments.  The sori are oblong, and the indusia are attached at the base and sides, opening towards the margin.


North Island: Northland.

Altitudinal range:  c. 10 m.

Known only from one collection at Kerikeri, Bay of Islands.

Occurs naturally in the Old World tropics from Madagascar to Polynesia. It has a tendency to become weedy (Kramer 1990).


Recorded as self-sown in a pot of Lastreopsis glabella, which it eventually smothered.

 First Record

Heenan et al. (2004, p. 802 – as Sphenomeris chinensis). Voucher AK 284226, 2003.


Odontosoria chinensis was previously commonly known as Sphenomeris chinensis.

It is sometimes sold in New Zealand garden centres incorrectly labelled as the native species Lindsaea viridis (Heenan et al. 2004). It is distinguished from that species by its pale brown stipes and rachises, broader laminae, and widely spaced pinnae that arise at wider angles.

Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2017: Lindsaeaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 17. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J.; Cameron, E.K.; Ogle, C.C.; Champion, P.D. 2004: Checklist of dicotyledons, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 2001–2003. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 797–814.
Jarvis, C.E. 2007: Order out of chaos: Linnaean plant names and their types. Linnean Society of London in association with the Natural History Museum.
Kramer, K.U. 1990: Dennstaedtiaceae. 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.
Linnaeus, C. 1753: Species Plantarum. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm.
Maxon, W.R. 1913: A new genus of davallioid ferns. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences 3: 143–144.
Seemann, B. 1857: The botany of the voyage of H.M.S. Herald. Reeve, London.