Black Tree Fern, Mamaku
One of the worlds largest tree ferns, this impressive species is native to lowland rainforests in the South Pacific between Fiji and Pitcairn and south to New Zealand, Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands, where it is a common component of the vegetation and sometimes forms large, monotypic stands. Its large, sturdy trunk can reach a height of 20 m (67 ft.). The spreading, tripinnate fronds can reach a length of 6 m (20 ft.) and are held by thick, black petioles that are covered in dark brown scales especially when young. Even though initially slow to establish from spores, it is eventually very fast growing and is not uncommonly seen in cultivation. It can take only light freezes but will put up with a wide range of temperatures from cool temperate to tropical.