Dicksonia fibrosa

Dicksonia fibrosa
Kew Gardens

Dicksonia fibrosa or jade green tree fern is smaller than Dicksonia antarctica, in height as well as width, it is better suited for smaller gardens or patios.

The stipe or pseudo-stem is broader and golden brown rather than reddish.

The fronds are shorter: about 2 m and of a lighter jade green color, more crisp to the touch. When it freezes, the fronds will die and fall along the stipe, protecting it from the cold and keeping it moist.

Growth is very slow.

Description:

Dicksonia fibrosa is a tree fern that grows up to 10 m. The stipe is up to 1 m in diameter, very dense, made up of closely intertwined roots that are covered with soft, light red-brown hair.

The leaves are numerous, not falling when they die and forming a dense skirt hanging around the trunk. The leaves are upright and curving, forming a crown of 4 m in diameter. The leaves are up to 3 m long, 3-4 pinnate, glossy dark green at the bottom, lighter green top and tough.

The sori are oval to round, sporangia on a raised receptacle. Spores are golden brown to reddish brown.

Usage:

Ornamental

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Jade green tree fern, golden tree fern, Kuripaka, Wheki-Ponga, Woolen tree fern

Synonyms:

Dicksonia sparmanniana, Dicksonia antarctica var. fibrosa, Dicksonia fibrosa var. microcarpa, Balantium fibrosum, Dicksonia antarctica sensu, Dicksonia microcarpa

Etymology:

Dicksonia: after James Dickson (1738-1822), British botanist and nurseryman
Fibrosa: from the Latin fibra (fiber) and -osa

Origin:

New Zealand

Habitat:

Humid forests, in undergrowth, also on plains, 0-1,600 m altitude



Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-10, -5 °C
In its habitat it might resist to -11 °C but only mature and well established specimen resist those temperatures.

Care:

Soil:

Rich in organic matter and moist

Light:

Partial shade, ideally filtered sunlight

Water:

Keep moist, water daily in summer at the top of the trunk (the roots are in the trunk).

Feed:

Organic fertilizer in spring

Winter protection:

Protect crown from frost by insulating with straw bound by chicken wire.

Propagation:

Spores

Sowing instructions:

Ferns have a particular reproductive system: spores germinate and produce a male or female prothallum after a few weeks.

This prothallum looks like a wilted leaf, do not throw the pot away!

Fertilization occurs through streaming water and after a few months the first true fern frond will appear.

 

Image sources

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