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Pacific ferns: taxonomy and relationships

Te Papa researchers: Leon Perrie, Patrick Brownsey and Lara Shepherd

Over half of Aotearoa’s ferns and lycophytes are also indigenous elsewhere in the south-west Pacific region. Improving the understanding of the floras adjacent to New Zealand therefore provides better context for our work on its own ferns and lycophytes. Our investigations involve the delimitation, naming, distributions, and relationships of species.

With its shared Zealandian heritage, New Caledonia is a special focus, but we’ve also published on Australian, Solomon Islands, Fijian, and Tongan ferns.

A dark pink fern frond with green bush in the background


Blechnum milnei, Fiji. Photo by Leon Perrie. Te Papa

A small, pale green frond growing up from the earth


Pneumatopteris glandulifera, Solomon Islands. Photo by Leon Perrie. Te Papa

Looking up from the bush at a talk palm tree with blue sky and clouds in the distance


Cyathea intermedia, New Caledonia. Photo by Leon Perrie. Te Papa

Main collaborators: Rémy Amice (Nouméa), Daniel Ohlsen (Melbourne), Cheng-Wei Chen (Taipei).

Representative publications:

Chen C-W, Perrie LR, Glenny D, Chiou W-L. 2017. Sol Amazing: Lycophytes & Ferns of the Solomon Islands. National Museum of Natural Science, Taiwan.

Perrie LR, Shepherd LD, Brownsey PJ, Larraín J, Shaw B, Thouvenot L, von Konrat M. 2016. Rediscovery and reinstatement of the New Caledonian endemic filmy fern Hymenophyllum pumilio Rosenst. New Zealand Journal of Botany 54: 1-10.