21 Oct 2008

Fern thought to be extinct found in Hawke's Bay

3:10 pm on 21 October 2008

A fern thought to be extinct has been found in Hawke's Bay.

The maidenhair spleenwort quadrivalens was last recorded in the 1950s.

Te Papa botany curator Dr Leon Perrie is elated over the discovery, which was made during a field trip to specifically find the fern.

Only nine plants have been found in an area covering 15 square metres.

The location is being kept secret. Dr Perrie told Morning Report this is because some people would be tempted to poach one for their plant collection.

Dr Perrie said further searches are planned to try to locate more maidenhair spleenwort plants.