Scientific Name:
Dennstaedtia davallioides (R.Br.) T.Moore, Index Fil. 305 (1861)
  • Dicksonia davallioides R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holland. 158 (1810)
  • Sitobolium davallioides (R.Br.) J.Sm., London J. Bot. 1: 434 (1842)
Lectotype (selected by Brownsey & Perrie 2016): Patersons River, [New South Wales], R. Brown Iter Austral. 93, Oct. 1804, BM 001048114!
From Davallia (a genus of ferns), and Greek -oides (like), a reference to the similarity of this fern to Davallia.

Dennstaedtia davallioides has long-creeping rhizomes; fronds 800–2000 mm long; stipes black-brown proximally, chestnut-brown to yellow-brown distally, 340–650 mm long; laminae deeply 3-pinnate-pinnatifid or 4-pinnate, broadly ovate or broadly elliptic, 400–1350 mm long; the longest primary pinnae 400–600 mm long and 200–300 mm wide. The abaxial surfaces of the rachis and costae bear sparse, colourless or pale brown, multicellular, non-glandular hairs up to 0.5 mm long. The indusia are slightly bivalvate, formed from a true inner lobed indusium and outer modified inrolled lamina flap, attached at the base, lacking hairs.


North Island: Auckland.

Altitudinal range:  40 m.

Known from the University of Auckland campus and from Whenuapai in Auckland, and from the Arapuni Gorge near Te Awamutu, as an escape from cultivation.

Occurs naturally in Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria); naturalised in South Australia (Brownsey 1998), and has the potential to spread aggressively by spores and its creeping rhizomes (Heenan et al. 1998).


Recorded as widely scattered in an overgrown garden and spreading through a fence into the adjacent property at Whenuapai, and amongst Clivia plantings at the University of Auckland campus. Its habitat in the Arapuni Gorge is unknown.

 First Record

Heenan et al. (1998, p. 158). Voucher AK 231458, 231698, 1997.


A diploid chromosome count of n = c. 29 was reported for this species from Australia (Tindale & Roy 2002).

Brown, R. 1810: Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van-Diemen. Johnson, London.
Brownsey, P.J. 1998: Dennstaedtiaceae. In: Flora of Australia. Vol. 48. 214–228.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2016: Taxonomic notes on the New Zealand flora: lectotypes in the fern families Dennstaedtiaceae and Lindsaeaceae. New Zealand Journal of Botany 54: 511–514.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2018: Dennstaedtiaceae. In: Breitwieser, I.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 19. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Heenan, P.B.; Breitwieser, I.; Glenny, D.S.; de Lange, P.J.; Brownsey, P.J. 1998: Checklist of dicotyledons and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 1994-1996. New Zealand Journal of Botany 36(2): 155–162.
Moore, T. 1857–1862: Index Filicum. Pamplin, London.
Smith, J. 1842: An arrangement and definition of the genera of ferns, with observations on the affinities of each genus. London Journal of Botany 1: 419–438.
Tindale, M.D.; Roy, S.K. 2002: A cytotaxonomic survey of the Pteridophyta of Australia. Australian Systematic Botany 15: 839–937.