Male Fern

Eurasia, North America

General description

Perennial, rhizomatous fern. Leaves are < 125 x 30 cm and bipinnate. Sori are round and produced in autumn – winter, with 1-5 pairs produced per secondary pinnae.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell male fern within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant male fern within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any male fern on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Riparian margins, rocky sites, regenerating scrubland, forest, pasture, plantations.

Spores dispersed by wind.

May competitively displace native forest-dwelling ferns.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Spores on leaves

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMP status

Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Male fern - Main species image