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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 13:31 EDT

Australian Tree Fern, Cyathea cooperi

The Australian Tree Fern (Cyathea cooperi), also known as the lacy tree fern, scaly tree fern, or Cooper’s tree fern, is one of the most commonly grown tree ferns used in gardens and commercial landscaping. It is hardy and easy to grow. Heavy frosts may kill the fronds, but plants recover quickly. They prefer protected, shady moist conditions but can be grown in sunny areas. It does not do well in full sun and needs to be kept well watered.

The Australian tree fern is a medium-to-large, fast growing tree fern native to Australia. This fern grows to 49 feet in height with a 12 in thick trunk. The apex of the trunk and unfurling crosiers are particularly attractive, covered as they are with conspicuous long, silky, straw colored scales. The crown is widely spread and the light green fronds may reach a length of 13″“20 feet.

This fern has become naturalized in Hawaii and has become a problem there as an aggressive, invasive species.

Australian Tree Fern Cyathea cooperi