Blechnum fluviatile

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Blechnum fluviatile
Blechnum fluviatile centre.JPG
Blechnum fluviatile (Māori: kiwikiwi)
Scientific classification
Polypodiopsida /
 Pteridopsida (disputed)
B. fluviatile
Binomial name
Blechnum fluviatile

Blechnum fluviatile is a fern known in the Māori language as kiwikiwi. A herbaceous plant, B. fluviatile is a "hard fern" of the genus Blechnum in the family Blechnaceae. It was identified by Patrick Brownsey in 1979.[1] Other common names are star fern, creek fern, kawakawa and kiwakiwa.[2][1]


Ladderlike fronds of B. fluviatile measure up to 50 cm (20 in) long. Growing in a distinctive ground-hugging rosette shape, its fertile fronds – dark brown and spiky – stand upright from the centre, while the drooping sterile fronds with their nearly round leaflets, form the rosette.[2] As the parent plant ages it develops a short trunk central to a surrounding colony.

Range and ecology[edit]

The hardy B. fluviatile requires moist, shaded conditions for optimal growth. A small ground fern, the B. fluviatile is native to New Zealand and southeast Australia, a syntype common throughout the country in damp, shady areas in acidic, moist and boggy soil,[3] beside streams in forest areas.[2] This fern species occurs throughout much of New Zealand's forests, including much of the forested area of North Island; west, north and south coasts of South Island; and Stewart Island/Rakiura; moreover, it occurs in parts of the coastal forests of southeast Australia. Example understory flora associates in the mixed broadleaf/podocarp forests of Rakiura include Blechnum blechnoides and Blechnum durum.[4]


It was collected by William Colenso in December 1841, at the precise locality of woods near Poverty Bay in the North Island.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Blechnum fluviatile (R.Br.) Salomon; syntype of Lomaria rotundifolia Colenso - Collections Online - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ
  2. ^ a b c "Blechnum fluviatile". Archived from the original on 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  3. ^ BBC - Gardening - Plants - Plant Finder - Blechnum fluviatile 'Klwaklwak'
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2009. Crown Fern: Blechnum discolor,, ed. N. Stromberg Archived 2012-02-13 at the Wayback Machine