Cyathea australis

Cyathea australis

Cyathea australis or Rough Tree Fern is a quite hardy tree fern with solid black trunk and beautiful green leaves.

It grows quite quickly and can be grown both in the garden and in pot.

It tolerates both sun and sea air and is very wind resistant.

Description:

The trunk generally measures about 12 m long, sometimes 20 m high, 16-40 cm in diameter, covered, at least in upper part, by the persistent bases of the stipes; scales of trunk and stipe base shiny, red-brown, stiff and often twisted, 2–5 cm long, with inconspicuous pale fragile edges.

The fronds are 2-3 m long; stipe up to 60 cm long, bearing conical spines on the dark brown base; lamina mostly 3-pinnate or sometimes 2-pinnate with secondary pinnae, dark green above, paler green below, ultimate segments shallowly crenate to toothed.

Sori lacking a true indusium but base of sorus often bears a semicircular series of small scales

Usage:

Ornamental

Nomenclature:

Synonym:

Alsophila australis

Etymology:

Cyathea: from the Greek kuathos (cup)
Australis: from the Latin austrālis (southern)

Origin:

Australia, Tasmania and Norfolk Island

Habitat:

Rainforests and open dry forests to elevations of 1,300 m

Hardiness:

USDA zone 8-11, down to -8 °C for short periods

Cyathea australis fiddlehead

Cyathea australis fiddlehead

Care:

Soil:

Adapts to a great variety of soils

Exposure:

Sun, light, partial shade

Water:

Keep moist, water daily in summer

Fertilizer:

Blood meal, every 4-6 weeks

Propagation:

From spores

Sowing instructions:

  • any time of the year
  • surface sow in a light position, the spores need daylight at all stages
  • 15-20 °C
  • keep moist at all times, eventually place in a plastic bag to avoid evaporation of water
  • germination time: 1-6 months

Image sources

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