Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants
The most abundant plants on the forest floor are ferns, but flowering plants may also be found. Many of the ferns belong to such widespread genera as Asplenium, Blechnum, Polystichum and the membranous leaved filmy ferns (Hymenophyllum and Trichomanes). The two species of Leptopteris, although larger than the filmy ferns and not related to them, have similar membranous leaves. The famous crepe fern (L. superba) favours moist, shady, cool situations and owes its attractively fluffy leaf texture to the ultimate leaf segments, which are set at right angles to the plane of the leaf (Fig. 62).
Among flowering plants, species of Astelia form large tussocks; the bush rice grass (Microlaena cvenacea) covers the ground in places and in season the flowers of species of such orchid genera as Corybas and Pterostylis make their appearance. In the north, moist shady banks may be completely covered by attractive mosaics of the reddish-purple tinted leaves of parataniwha (Elatostema rugosum) (Fig. 63).page 105