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Trip Report - Ngauranga – Horokiwi coastal escarpment

Trip Report – 5 October 2013:   Ngauranga – Horokiwi coastal escarpment

Asplenium lamprophyllum
Asplenium lamprophyllum.   Photo:   Jeremy Rolfe.
We visited the slopes above SH2 between Ngauranga and Petone, using as a guide, an extensive plant list prepared by Colin Ogle in 1976-77.   It was a surprise and a delight to find a regenerating coastal forest of tawa-kohekohe-rewarewa, with occasional matai.   We were less than delighted when we left the 4x4 access track to scramble down a steep slope of cobbles and boulders to botanise the area more thoroughly.   The enthusiasm of the more intrepid members of the group was rewarded with the discovery of a fern, Asplenium lamprophyllum, well south of its southern limit.   Leon Perrie describes it as looking a bit like a hen & chickens fern (Asplenium bulbiferum).   It has distinctly glossy fronds, does not produce ‘chickens’ (bulbils) on the upper surface of the frond), and has a pronounced creeping rhizome.   Other features in the gully included a totara with five trunks, and several big ngaio.

We ate lunch under a mahoe canopy stripped bare of leaves by winter storms, while scouts searched successfully for a route through gorse to the ridge track.   From here, the view of the harbour and Rimutaka Range was impressive.   We were tempted to venture inland but stuck to the trip plan, and kept to the coastal strip, returning via a rocky gully to the start point, the top of Malvern Road.

The area was grazed by cattle until c. 30 years ago.   Nowadays goats are present, and Greater Wellington controls possums.   The weed flora is extensive, and includes karaka – large trees and abundant seedlings.

A follow up blog post:

Additional photos of Asplenium lamprophyllum:

Also see:

We thank the owners of the property for permission to visit the site.

Participants :   Bev Abbott, Barbara Clark, Tom Dav, Gavin Dench, Stephen Drakeford, Pat Enright, Frances Forsyth, Peter Gilberd, Bryan Halliday, Chris Hopkins, Chris Horne, Sheena Hudson, Amy Leask, Rodney Lewington, Kathleen McMurtry, Barbara Mitcalfe, Chris Moore, Mick Parsons, Leon Perrie, Kaira Ranginui-Love, Jessica Robertson, Lea Robertson, Nick Saville, Sunita Singh, Julia Stace, Julia Williams.


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