tree fern


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Related to tree fern: Tasmanian tree fern
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Gametophyte and sporophyte of tree ferns in vitro culture.
WARMER summers are prompting many gardeners to include a touch of the exotic in their planting - and there's nowhere better to start than palms and tree ferns.
Above these altitudes, in the highlands of New Guinea, cloud forest occurs from here up to the tree line and is dominated by Amaracarpus caeruleus and Pittosporum pullifolium, with many specimens of the tree fern Cyathea percrassa in the lower levels together with members of Ericaceae (Rhododendron gaultheriifolium, Dimorphanthera microphylla) and Epacridaceae (Trochocarpa dispersa, Rapanea vaccinioides).
Extraction of adult plants and deforestation are threatening the existence not only of the tree fern species but also of microhabitats for epiphytic fern species, some of them exclusively (or mostly so) found on this kind of substrate.
Q Does my Dicksonia tree fern need any protection during winter?
Hardy in zones 14-17 (unless noted): Australian tree fern (except zone 14), blue hibiscus, datura (except zones 14-15), lady palm.
Due to their epiphytic (non-parasitic) habit, they require an organic, loose, well-drained potting medium such as sphagnum moss alone or mixed with other materials like tree fern fiber and leaf mold.
For the more ambitious there is the splendid Australian Tree fern which requires regular watering and winter protection to establish over here, the most popular growing at no more than an inch a year.
Behind is a tree fern (Dicksonia X Lathamii) which was here at the same time as Ernest Wilson (inset).
Similarly, should you grow somewhat tender ferns such as the tree fern, an onion bag of leaves placed in the crown will protect the new growth from frost - but don't forget to take it out after the last frosts next year.
Speaking of ferns, the CSUN botanic garden has an amazing Australian tree fern variety called ``Brentwood'' that is faster-growing, more robust and larger than the type typically planted in our gardens.
A THE Australian tree fern is hardy down to about -15C but will lose its fronds in winter.