Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Todea Willd. ex Bernh., J. Bot. (Schrader) 1800(2): 126 (1801)
Type Taxon:
Todea africana Willd. ex Bernh. = Todea barbara (L.) T.Moore
Named in honour of Heinrich Julius Tode (1733–1797), German botanist and clergyman, author of Fungi Mecklenburgenses Selecti (1790–1791).

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes erect, sometimes forming a short woody trunk. Rhizome scales absent. Fronds monomorphic. Stipes glabrous. Laminae 2-pinnate, coriaceous, opaque, with stomata, evergreen, glabrous or hairy. Sporangia partially or completely covering fertile laminal segments, confined to proximal half of primary and secondary pinnae in proximal half of the lamina. Spores trilete, radially symmetrical, tuberculate with tubercles bearing slender echinate processes.


A genus of two species. Todea was first recognised as a distinct genus by Bernhardi (1801). Although closely related to Leptopteris, two genera have usually been recognised within New Zealand, with the notable exception of Allan (1961) who included Leptopteris within Todea. Leptopteris has membranous, translucent fronds that lack stomata, and sporangia that are only sparsely scattered on the abaxial surfaces. Todea has coriaceous, opaque fronds with stomata, and sporangia that densely cover the abaxial surfaces. Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences from seven plastid loci (Metzgar et al. 2008) confirmed that both groups were monophyletic and sister to each other.


One species in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and the other in New Guinea.

Indigenous (Non-endemic)
Number of species in New Zealand within Todea Willd. ex Bernh.
Indigenous (Non-endemic)1

n = 22 (Kramer 1990).

Bernhardi, J.J. 1801: Tentamen alterum filices in genera redigenda. Journal für die Botanik (Schrader) 1800(2): 121–136.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2014: Osmundaceae. In: Breitwieser, I; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 4. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Brownsey, P.J.; Smith-Dodsworth, J.C. 2000: New Zealand ferns and allied plants. Edition 2. David Bateman, Auckland.
Kramer, K.U. 1990: Osmundaceae. 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. 197–200.
Large, M.F.; Braggins, J.E. 1991: Spore atlas of New Zealand ferns and fern allies. SIR Publishing, Wellington.
Metzgar, J.S.; Skog, J.E.; Zimmer, E.A.; Pryer, K.M. 2008: The paraphyly of Osmunda is confirmed by phylogenetic analyses of seven plastid loci. Systematic Botany 33(1): 31–36.