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This gregarious and robust, monotypic tree fern is related to Dicksonia and has a thick, short trunk to about 2 m tall and large, light green, glossy leaves with which it may reach a height of 4.5 m overall. Its fertile fronds have a peculiar look, being composed of a multitude of miniature spheres (the sori or spore capsules) with virtually no leaf surface. The spore masses are occasionally referred to as “seeds” because of their uncommonly large size. In its natural habitat in the Juan Fernandez Archipelago in the southeast Pacific off the coast of Chile, it is found as an understorey plant and in forest openings in upper montane forest to 1000 m. In cultivation it prefers a cool, even climate. It has been in cultivation to a very limited extent only.