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Australian Tree Fern

Sphaeropteris cooperi

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Zone 9-10

For a powerful tropical effect, tree ferns are among the best plants you could have. Not only are most species large in both height (up to 20+ feet) and width of fronds (can be over 8 feet per frond), but many species have striking 'woody' trunks as well ...unique and attractive

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The tree fern in the second photo above is young yet is about 8-9 feet across. Certain palms, such as varieties of caryota, have the same lacy appearance

Native to the Dutch East Indies and surrounding areas, tree ferns are a "must have" if you have the room in a shaded protected area. Eastern exposure is best.  After morning, high broken shade is required.  Here's a very cool one we saw labeled Menga spp

Australian Tree Fern, Sphaeropteris cooperi, does well in South Florida.  Hybrids include Sphaeropteris cooperi 'Robusta' and Sphaeropteris cooperi 'Brentwood' and also are easy to grow in zone 10

Tree ferns like protected conditions with well drained fertile soil with moderate fertilization. They can be difficult to establish but most of the time the problem was poor site selection or insufficient water. These ferns like to have their fibrous trunks watered as well

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Cyathea arborea from the Caribbean is a good choice locally.  Cyathea medullaris is from New Zealand and other Pacific islands is called the Black Tree Fern.  Cibotium glaucum is native to Hawaii as is Cibotium chamissoi.  Cibotium scheidii is from Mexico as is Alsophila firma