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Cyathea smithii

Soft Tree Fern, Katote

A medium-sized tree fern that can produce a slender trunk to 8 m (27 ft.) tall but usually stays considerably smaller. It holds a spreading crown of flat, tripinnate fronds on profusely scaly leafstalks. The stalks persist on the trunk and can form a skirt below the crown. Cyathea smithii is native to cool montane and lowland forests on the North and South Islands of New Zealand, as well as Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands and the subantarctic Auckland Islands far to the south, which makes it the worlds most southerly occurring tree fern. Perfectly adapted to the cool and humid conditions of its habitat, it does not like heat and in fact is less tolerant of it than other tree ferns from comparable habitats, such as Dicksonia antarctica. It does tolerate moderate freezes and is one of the hardiest tree ferns, although, however, it is not quite as hardy as D. antarctica or D. fibrosa.

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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