A fresh crown - unfurling fronds of Blechnum discolor

Who cares about the weather if you are sheltered on the forest floor?  Blechnum discolor is a native fern found there in a number of different plant communities and locations within New Zealand.

Different Maori names are cited by different sources - kiokio, piupiu or petipeti, and it is also called the crown fern.  The pale fronds that are unfolding, fresh spring growth, are sterile.  Spore bearing fertile fronds are very dark and look spindly and shrivelled. The old ones here are not easy to see. 

This fern can be the dominant plant on the forest floor, making a rather enchanting covering of crown-shaped clumps.  At Otari Native Botanic garden where I took this photo there are several areas where they are growing in this way.  As they mature the plants can develop woody trunks up to 30 cm tall, like little tree ferns.  It may sound strange, but to me they have a perky quality, little characters holding their own amidst the big trees.