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New Zealand's native bush has a huge variety of ferns, with about 190 native species. The bush is literally covered in ground ferns with fern trees protruding up toward the canopy. Epiphyte ferns also exist on giant trees in the forest. Most grow in shady and damp conditions such as valleys and deep gullies that get less direct sunlight.
The most common fern species is the Black Tree Fern which happens to be the world's tallest, with some specimens reaching 24 metres (80 feet) high. At the other end of the scale are ferns that are only a few centremetres in height.
The most recognisable fern is the Silver Fern which is a New New Zealand emblem. It is used on the shirts of sports teams including the All Blacks rugby team, Silver Ferns netball team, as well as the New Zealand Olympic team.
Koru is the shape of an unfurling fern frond. It is also a New Zealand emblem or symbol and to the Maori. it represents the unfolding of new life.