Zealandia pustulata-Kangaroo Paws Fern-Name Changed AGAIN!!!

Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata Kangaroo Paws Fern) on 9-3-09, #31-33.

Kangaroo Paws Fern

 Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata

Subspecies of

Zealandia pustulata

zee-LAN-dee-uh  pus-tew-LAY-tuh

*Synonyms of Zealandia pustulata (6) (Updated on 2-6-21): Phymatodes pustulata (G.Forst.) C.Presl, Drynaria pustulata (G.Forst.) J.Sm., Phymatosorus pustulatus (G.Forst.) M.F.Large, Braggins & P.S.Green, Pleopeltis pustulata (G.Forst.) T.Moore, Polypodium pustulatum G.Forst.
*Synonyms of Zelandia pustulata subsp. pustulata (16) (Updated on 2-6-21): Phymatodes billardierei C.Presl, Phymatodes diversifolia (Willd.) Pic.Serm., Chrysopteris billardierei Link, Chrysopteris lepidopoda Link, Drynaria billardierei J.Sm., Microsorum diversifolium (Willd.) Copel., Phymatosorus diversifolius (Willd.) Pic.Serm., Pleopeltis billardierei T.Moore, Pleopeltis diversifolia (Willd.) Melvaine, Pleopeltis lepidopoda T.Moore, Polypodium billardierei R.Br., Polypodium diversifolium Willd., Polypodium lepidopodum Link, Polypodium scandens Labill., Polypodium scandens var. billardierei (R.Br.) F.Muell.

*The list of synonyms are from Plants of the World Online by Kew from their information about Microsorium pustulatum. I am not sure which list Microsorium pustulatum will be in yet as POWO doesn’t have Zealandia pustulata listed as an accepted name as of 2-6-21 when I updated this page. When it is added to POWO I will make the approprate change.

Zealandia pustulata (G.Forst.) Testo & A.R.Field is NOW the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. The genus and species were named and described as such by Weston L. Testo and Ashley R. Field in Systematic Botany in 2019. It was first named and described as Polypodium pustulatum by Johann Georg Adam Forster in Florilae Insularum Australium Prodromus in 1786.

When I was updating this page, I noticed the link from Wikipedia was redirected to Zealandia pustulata, which I hadn’t heard of. The name Zealandia pustulata wasn’t on POWO but it is on IPNI (International Plant Names Index), so I sent an email to the senior content editor of Kew about it. He said when the name from IPNI is added to WCSP (World Checklist of Selected Plant Families) he would accept the name Zealandia pustulata. He suggested I go ahead and use that name when making changes. GEEZ!!!

When fully accepted, the genus Zelandia will include probably four species… The species, Zealandia pustulata, is likely to include two subspecies, Zelandia pustulata subsp. howensis and Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata (which is the “type-species”). When a subspecies is named, an “autonym” is automatically created that is the closest to the species which is referred to as the “type-species”. Yeah, it is somewhat confusing… I always wondered how a subspecies could have the same name as the species…

The name change is the result of a molecular phylogenetic study conducted in 2019 which suggested three clades close to Lecanopteris sensu stricto and distinct from other clades in the subfamily Microsoroideae. The authors in the study decided to make three additional monophyletic genera. It takes a while for name changes to be approved and go through all the hoops. HHHHOOOOPPPPEEEEFFFFUUUULLLLYYYY this will clear up the name of this species. I have changed the scientific name of the Kangaroo Paws Fern a MULTIPLE of times. Now I have to change the captions AGAIN!

To read the whole write up about the name change click on SESSA LAB (UPLOAD FROM SYSTEMATIC BOTANY).


Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata (Kangaroo Paw Fern) on 9-22-11, #80-12.

This is one of several plants Dr. Skinner bought before she passed on March 2009 while living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. The Kangaroo Paw Fern proved to be very easy to grow. The links below provide much information about the species and growing tips.

Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata (Kangaroo Paw Fern) in the west sunroom at the mansion in Mississippi on 10-24-11, #83-11.

Family: Polypodiaceae.
Origin: New Zealand, Australia.
Zones: USDA Zones (° F) HMMM… 
Size: 10-12” plus tall.
Light: Light to full shade.
Soil: Well-drained soil.
Water: Average. Soil should not dry out very long.

Zealandia pustulata subsp. pustulata (Kangaroo Paw Fern) on 8-12-12, #115-64.

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.

Most of the links below list the Kangaroo Paws Fern in one species or another. It can be difficult to keep up with name changes, especially with this one. Dave’s Garden caught up with the last name change, Phymatosorus pistulatus, only to have it change AGAIN. The Wikipedia article was actually where I learned of the change when sometimes they are behind Plants of the World Online because some of the authors seem to have trouble using up-to-date references… They update but use the same references that aren’t updated. I am not complaining because it was two years since I last updated this page…



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