Cyathea cooperi

Australian tree fern, coin spot tree fern Synonyms Sphaeropteris cooperi, Alsophila cooperi Epithet is after British naturalist Daniel Cooper (1817-1842). Evergreen, 40 ft. (12 m). Zones 8 (with heavy winter protection) to 10.

description: The trunk, up to 6 in. (15 cm) in diameter, can quickly reach 40 ft. (12 m) and has "coin spots," oval scars where old fronds have broken away. Bipinnate-pinnatifid broadly lanceolate fronds on long stipes arch to 15 ft. (4.5 m) long. Stipes and trunk have white scales with brownish teeth. Sori without indusia are in nonmarginal rows.

range and habitat: This species is endemic to Australia, where it grows in subtropical to tropical rain forests up to 4500 ft. (1400 m). It has escaped in the Hawaiian Islands and is a serious environmental threat to their native tree fern populations.

culture and comments: The Australian tree fern is one of the most widely grown and popular tree ferns for cultivation in the continental united States, growing quickly in humid and moist sites. It will take a brief exposure to light frost, but must be enclosed in a protective wrap where winter cold is common. There are several cultivars.

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