So after promising to deliver some of my photos from fieldwork in Borneo earlier in the year, I’ve finally gotten round to doing it. The mission seemed simple enough – spend 3 weeks in Sarawak, Malaysia, hunting for Dipteridaceae and Matoniaceae for my thesis work. What this translated to was some of the most ‘shiong’ (strenuous) hiking I’ve ever done.
First up… arguably the highlight of the hunt – Matonia foxworthyi. It was only on our 4th and last mountain that we finally came across this single clump at Gunung Santubong. This terrestrial fern grows in open exposed areas. Its creeping rhizome is covered in golden hairs and it has a polycyclic solenostele. Each frond is about 1m tall. Sori consist of only a few large sporangia covered by a peltate indusium.
It was certainly a fantastic experience to find this relatively rare fern that, like members of its sister family Dipteridaceae, has its roots in the Mesozoic. Where once it was a common, globally distributed group, now you need to travel to Malesia and hike up some mountains to get a glimpse of it.
Collection Data (T. Choo 77)
Classification & Common Names
- Class: Polypodiopsida
- Family: Matoniaceae
- Genus: Matonia R.Br. in Wall.
- Species: Matonia foxworthyi Copel.
- Common name(s):
General Collection Data
- Date: 20-08-2014
- Primary Collector & #: T. Choo 77
- Collection Party: Thereis Choo, Chong Tzeh Chua
- Det. History: T. Choo
- Habit: Terrestrial
- Specimen Locations: BH, SAR, SING
Sunny exposed area on top of Gunung Santubong. Growing on mossy substrate with Dipteris conjugata. Creeping rhizome, stipe up to 1m.
Amazing plant. Stunning photos. Thanks for posting!
I think this is the most exquisite fern the God left to us.