This family is made up largely of the genus Plagiochila, of which there are about 25 species. They are spread throughout the country, occupying the surfaces of tree trunks, the forest floor, and rocks, especially near water.

Most of the Plagiochilas have stems which are tough, and none of them have underleaves. The leaf edges are toothed, and the appearance of the teeth are an important feature in identifying the different species.


Pedinophyllum monoicum

Found on old logs and bark of trees in damp forests.


Plagiochila annotina

Usually an epiphyte but sometimes found on logs. The leaf edge is toothed right to the base.


Plagiochila banksiana

Found on damp silty shady streamsides or on silt-covered rocks.

The soft stems and floppy leaves make it easy to separate from the other Plagiochilas.


Plagiochila deltoida

The yellow-brown colour is typical of this one, as is that deltoid branching pattern of the stem.


A close-up of the leaves of Plagiochila deltoida.


Plagiochila fasiculata

This one seems to only be found growing on tree trunks.

It is normally this yellow-brown colour.


Plagiochila gigantea

This species likes to live near streams, where there is shade and high humidity.

Its branches form a fan-shaped frond.

It can grow up to 10 -12 cm high.


Plagiochila lyallii

A small plant, found on soil, rocks and logs in shady bush. Rarely found on trees.


Plagiochila obscura

An epiphytic species, fairly common in damp areas of the forest.


Plagiochila stephensoniana

This species is the largest of the Plagiochilas, and can grow 20 - 25 cm tall.

This specimen was photographed on rocks at a stream crossing, where it was very shaded and obviously very wet.


Plagiochila strombifolia

This species is epiphytic, but is sometimes found also on logs, rocks and even the forest floor.


liverwort index