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Cyathea dealbata - (G.Forst.)Swartz.

Common Name Tree Fern
Family Cyatheaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Lowland to montane forests and shrubland on North, South and Chatham Islands[44].
Range New Zealand.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Cyathea dealbata Tree Fern


Cyathea dealbata Tree Fern
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Kahuroa

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
Cyathea dealbata is an evergreen Fern growing to 9 m (29ft) by 2 m (6ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Stem
Edible Uses:

Pith of the stem[2, 46, 61, 105]. Rich in starch, it is normally roasted but can be eaten raw[193]. Descriptions of the taste vary from bitter, sweet, astringent and like a bad turnip[193]. The core of the plant near the growing tip is used[193], do not confuse this with the trunk of the plant, which is made up of a peaty substance from the decaying roots[K]. Harvesting the stem kills the plant so this use cannot normally be condoned[193]. Young leaves - cooked. Harvested just before they unfurl, they are juicy and slimy, tasting like bitter celery[193].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a humus-rich soil in a sheltered light position but with shade from strong sun. It grows well in light woodland. Requires shelter from winds, an abundance of moisture at its roots and its trunk kept wet[1, 49, 200]. A very ornamental plant, it succeeds outdoors in woodland conditions in the mildest areas of the country, but it is tender in most parts of Britain[49]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Spores - can be surface sown at any time of the year in a light position in a warm greenhouse[164]. Keep moist by standing the pot in shallow water or by enclosing it in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 25°c. Prick out patches of the young plants into small pots and stand the pots in shallow water until the plants are well established[164]. Grow on in a shady position in a greenhouse for at least the first two winters and plant out in late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

(G.Forst.)Swartz.

Botanical References

44200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Wed Nov 16 2005

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Subject : Cyathea dealbata  
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