The Mātātā or Ring fern is also known as the Lace fern (easy to see why), the Scented fern (due to the scent given off when the fronds are warm) and apparently the Hard fern (but so far only seen this name used on iNaturalist).
It’s a creeping fern with delicate yellow-green fronds and pretty common by the sound of it. Too common, in fact, for some. When I Googled this fern some of the first results were from agricultural weed databases.
Why try to destroy this fern though? Why? Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? Such a delicate, beautiful thing?
Well, apparently it likes to grow in open areas, often quite a bit. Including pasture lands, where it can be an issue.
According to nzflora, “It mostly grows in the open, but also occurs under podocarp, broadleaved and beech forest, under mānuka and kānuka, in coastal scrub, under pine plantations and with bracken.”
The specimens below were found close to the shores of Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park.