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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Water Ferns

There are but two species in New Zealand which grow only in water. One is the common Azolla, and the other the rarely found Pilularia. Neither of these is very fern-like. Azolla filiculoides, var. rubra, is found as a thick covering over large areas of ponds and slowly moving streams. Each plant is very small with overlapping leaves which enclose air and this enables the plant to keep above water. Pilularia novaezealandiae has tiny grass-like leaves; the spores are in small rounded structures resembling “pills”.

Next Part: Climbing Ferns