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Thyrsopteris elegans

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.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Argyll coast in Scotland, UK they need average care and grow normal.
I have a couple of dozen specimens of this ferns growing in light woodland on the coast of Argyll at Arduaine Garden. They are never protected and usually come through the winter totally unharmed but during this winter of 2009-10 temperatures of -5°C were recorded several times over a period of several weeks and some frond damage was noticed, though only one seems to have succumbed. Odd nights of -5 or -6 have not harmed them in previous winters. A handsome fern.
Submitted on 07/07/2010 by Maurice Wilkins

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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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