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Cyathea cooperi

Cyatheas are the tallest of the ferns and can provide a microclimate for other ferns and moisture loving plants in the garden.

Their lacy bright green fronds add a tropical feel and the architectural crosiers provide a long-lasting focus as they unfurl.

They grow best in high humidity and high soil moisture conditions so planting them in a protected area is a good idea. Regular applications of mulch will help keep the soil moist and also provide nutrients to the shallow root system. Treeferns usually respond well to organic fertilizers and well-rotted animal manures.

Because of their weed potential, care should be taken to avoid planting this species near moist bushland areas.

Aboriginal people split the trunk and ate the starchy pith raw or roasted. In many areas the unopened fronds were roasted to remove the shikimic acid - then eaten.

Common namescaly treefern, lacy treefern
Scientific nameCyathea cooperi (F.Muell.) Domin

Genus: From the Greek, kyatheion, meaning little cup, referring to the structure that encloses the sorus (the sorus is composed of spore-bearing capsules).

Species: Named by Ferdinand von Mueller in honour of Sir Daniel Cooper (1821–1902), merchant and philanthropist.

DistributionOccurs naturally between Cooktown, Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. It has naturalised in other parts of New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and also in Hawaii.
Native habitatMoist forests in sheltered coastal valleys and gorges in mountains.
DescriptionA medium to large fast growing tree fern, to 15 m tall. The apex of the trunk and unfurling crosiers are particularly attractive, being covered by conspicuous long, silky, straw colored scales. The crown is widely spread and the light green fronds may reach a length of 4-6 m.
Location in gardenIn the Connections Garden in Beds 0, 9, 11, 12 and 33, and also in the gully in the Banksia Garden.
Garden ExplorerView Cyathea cooperi on Garden Explorer