| Cyathea cunninghamii, Blechnum discolor, Cyathea smithii, Leptopteris, Dicksonia fibrosa|
Polystichum vestitum, commonly known as the prickly shield fern, is a hardy, evergreen or semi-evergreen ground fern.
Polystichum vestitum is a terrestrial fern with an erect and scaly rhizome, sometimes forming a short trunk and growing up to 700 mm in height. The fronds are 220–600 mm long. There are 3–7 (usually 5) round sori on each pinnule, halfway between the margin and midrib, with a light brown indusium.
The fern is native to the three principal islands of New Zealand and the Chatham Islands, as well as to New Zealand’s subantarctic Snares, Antipodes, Auckland and Campbell Islands, and to Australia’s Macquarie Island.
On Macquarie it dominates the fernbrake communities which typically occur on the eastern, leeward side of the island on valley slopes and sheltered valley floors. Although it can form dense stands in which few other plants will grow, more commonly it is found in conjunction with Stilbocarpa polaris, Poa foliosa and Pleurophyllum hookeri. The fern is seriously affected by rabbit grazing.
Polystichum vestitum Wikipedia