Dicksonia fibrosa Woolly tree fern

Epithet means "fibrous, matted roots." Evergreen, 18 ft. (5.4 m). Zones 9 and 10.

description: The fibrous, rusty colored trunk grows to 18 ft. (5.4 m). Erect fountains of tripinnate to quadripinnate narrow fronds with short stipes are mass produced and reach a length of 8 or 9 ft. (2.4 to 2.7 m). The species is readily recognized in the wild by the skirts of old fronds that droop and drape the trunk with blankets of cold-protective, dead fronds that even in their final stages still serve a purpose. The pinnae have upturned margins that give the fronds a coarse texture. Both the trunk and hairs on the rachis are a darker brown than those of Dicksonia antarctica. Sori are marginal with a circular indusium.

range and habitat: A New Zealand endemic, this is an interesting fern for moisture-rich soils where it can survive periods of frost. It is the most habitat-versatile of New Zealand's native ferns, accepting shade or somewhat exposed locales so long as the roots do not dry out.

culture and comments: In the landscape design this is a stout and solid element with a height somewhat more home-garden proportionate than the Cyathea giants. it should be an easy choice for Zone 9 and 10 gardens. Tidy gardeners need to adjust to the appearance of the "dead" skirts and resist the temptation to remove them, which, while possibly improving the fern's cosmetic appearance, would hinder their cold resistance.

Dicksonia squarrosa Rough tree fern, harsh tree fern Epithet means "rough, with sharp edges." Evergreen, 12 to 20 ft. (3.6 to 6 m).Zones 9 and 10.

description: This species is stoloniferous, sometimes forming multiple trunks. These narrow trunks are up to 20 ft. (6 m) tall and embedded with the upright stalks of old stipe bases as well as buds that can produce multiple crowns. Bristles of outstretched dark russet hairs surround the old and the new and are an ornamental feature on the trunks, stipes, and emerging crosiers. Deep green, shiny, tripinnate fronds with basal pinnae aimed downwards are harsh (or rough and sharp, if you would) to the touch. Significantly, old fronds do not surround the trunks. Sori are under circular to oval indusia.

range and habitat: One of the most common New Zealand endemics, this is abundant in forests from the coasts to moun tains throughout the country. it prefers shelter from wind and needs moist soil. The sturdy trunks are popularly used in construction. Look for sprouting walls in the landscape.

culture and comments: I grew this as a transient (indoors in winter, out in the summer) for a number of years until the logistics of transferring it exceeded my muscular capabilities and eventually those of my family. Now it is an accent in the plant propagation room, where it is restricted by pot size. Thus restrained it is a manageable 4-ft. (120-cm) specimen, 2V2 ft. (75 cm) of which is trunk. Watering requirements of plants in confinement need special vigilance however. Neglect will lead to collapsed fronds and a dormancy period of approximately six months. The fern recovers just in time to escape a trip to the compost heap.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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