Kangaroo Paws Fern
Phymatosorus pustulatus subsp. pustulatus
PLUS 17 more…
Phymatosorus pustulatus subsp. pustulatus Tindale & P.S.Green is NOW the accepted scientific name for the Kangaroo Paws Fern. It was named and described as such by Mary Douglas Tindale and Peter Shaw Green in Flora of Australia in 1994.
Phymatosorus pustulatus (G.Forst.) M.F.Large, Braggins & P.S.Green is now the correct and accepted scientific name for the species. It was named and described by M.F. Large, John Braggins, and Peter Shaw Green in New Zealand Journal of Botany in 1992. I have never understood how a subspecies can be the same as the species anyway. It was first named Polypodium pustulatum G.Forst. by Johann Georg Adam Forster in Florulae Insularum Australium Prodromus in 1786
There are two accepted infraspecific names of Phymatosorus pustulatus: Phymatosorus pustulatus subsp. howensis Tindale & P.S.Green and Phymatosorus pustulatus subsp. pustulatus. The latter has 19 synonyms!
The genus, Phymatosorus Pic.Sim., was named and described by Rodolfo Emilio Giuseppe Pichi Sermolli in Webbia in 1973. Plants of the World Online by Kew list 19 accepted species in the Phymatosorus genus (as of when I updated this page on 2-22-19)
I’M SO CONFUSED!
PREVIOUSLY…When I first started blogging in 2009 I had the Kangaroo Paws Fern listed as Polypodium diversifolium. That name became a synonym of Microsorum diversifolium which is what I have been calling it. Information online gives both scientific names for the Kangaroo Paws Fern. In fact, Dave’s Garden says the Kangaroo Paws fern is Microsorum diversifolium is the scientific name. However, they also say it is a synonym. How can it be the correct scientific name and a synonym? It also says Phymatosorus diversifolius is a synonym.
Actually, according to the version 1.1 of The Plant List (2013), there were two “former” accepted Polypodium diversifolium. Polypodium diversifolium R.Br. and Polypodium diversifolium Willd. The first became a synonym of Drynaria rigidula (Sw.) Bedd. and the second a synonym of Phymatosorus diversifolius (Willd.) Pic.Serm.
When I updated this page the last time, I pretty much disregarded what The Plant list had to say because they had not been updated since 2013. Then I found out that it was no longer being maintained and the Royal Botanic Gardens-Kew had launched Plants of the World Online (in 2017). At the time they were still uploading data and they had no information on this plant. So, for some reason, I stuck with Microsorum pustulatum as the correct and accepted name…
Microsorum pustulatum (G.Forst.) Copel. WAS the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of fern. It was named and described as such by Edward Bingham Copeland in Genera Filicum in 1947. It was first named Polypodium pustulatum G.Forst. by Johann Georg Adam Forster in Florulae Insularum Australium Prodromus in 1786.
The synonym, Microsorum diversifolium (Willd.) Copel., was named and described by Edward Bingham Copeland in University of California Publications in Botany in 1929. It was originally named Polypodium diversifolium Willd. by Carl Ludwig Willdenow in Species Plantarum, 4th Edition, in 1810.
The name Microsorum diversifolium is still widely used by the industry and usually what you see on plant labels for the Kangaroo Paws Fern. Both names were listed as unresolved in The 2013 version of The Plant List.
Then on February 22 (2019) when I updated this page AGAIN, I saw where Plants of the World Online now have the name of the Kangaroo Paws Fern as Phymatosorus pustulatus (G.Forst), M.F.Large, Braggins & P.S.Green subsp. pustulatus. It will take a while for the “others” to catch up with the name change… Even though it was approved in 1992 who knew it? Sometimes it takes MANY years for a validly published name to be accepted…
Of course, anyone can use whatever scientific name they choose as long as it was validly published. So, you can just choose a name… 😐
Personally, I am glad Plants of the World Online has that all lined out now… The reason I didn’t know about this name change before is because I kept searching the wrong names and using Kangaroo Paws Fern which continually gave me the wrong scientific names.
This is one of several plants Dr. Skinner bought before she passed on March 2009. The Kangaroo Paw Fern is very easy to grow. The links below provide much information about the species and growing tips.
Origin: New Zealand, Australia
Zones: USDA Zones (° F)
Size: 10-12” plus tall
Light: Light to full shade
Soil: Well-drained soil
Water: Average. Soil should not dry out very long.
The Kangaroo Paws Fern was a very easy fern to grow and I had absolutely no problems with it. Unfortunately, when I sold the mansion and moved back to the family farm in mid-Missouri in February 2013, I couldn’t take it with me. I left it with a good friend and fellow plant collector. Maybe someday I will purchase another.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.