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My Tree Ferns, or Dicksonia Antarctica

By NEILMUIR1
May 12, 2010

These beautiful plants have been found as fossils over 150 million years old. Like a lot of plants, they are suffering from deforestation and are taken from the wild as the loggers can sell them. Unfortunately they are expensive and have become a sort of status symbol for some.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
May 12, 2010 7:52 AM CST
I did not know about how these plants grow and found this article very iteresting. The photos are beautiful. How long does it take to have a plant from spores? I really found the part about the roots fascinating.
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
May 12, 2010 7:57 AM CST
Dear Lynn, normally you sow the spores on some moist compost and leave keeping damp over the summer and they will germinate!
You can but a packet of a 1000 spores for about $3-4 which is not that bad!
Regards.
Neil.
Name: Lance Gardner
coastal plain Virginia (Zone 7a)
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Lance
May 12, 2010 10:13 AM CST
Another fascinating article about an unusual plant. It is amazing how some of these wonders have survived over the millenia. Isn't there also a Hawaiian tree fern? It is good to know these are available as spores, so we do not have to contribute to their destruction in order to have some. I think my zone is marginal, but I may have to try some just for the novelty of it all.
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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
May 12, 2010 10:50 AM CST
Dear Lance, thank you very much. There are lots of tree ferns the one you are looking for is Cibotium splendens that is the Hawaiian one. Unfortunately these are cut down to make compost to grow Orchids in! There are also lots in New Zealand, but they in certain areas are not touched as they are spiritual to the Maoris.
I love them, although of course they are not to everyone's taste as they do not flower or are really showy. I cherish mine because they were all grown from spores and not one was taken from the wild, which is the way it should be. For we take too much out of the order of things yet are very loath to out anything back, until it is too late. It annoys me to see wild ones brought to the UK and used as a status symbol as to who has the biggest, most expensive one. Especially as the owners probably do not know where they come from or the dangers facing them.
Here is another Dicksonia at the Chelsea Flower Show, it is probably the species native to south Queensland, but as it is rare in cultivation and I cannot see the sign, I am not totally sure.
Many people find them unusual, and people who see them in my garden stop and look sometimes in shock. However a lot of people think they are Palms, which they most certainly are not!
I enjoyed writing the Article about a thing I love, and it might just stop someone spending a lot of money for something that to me is stolen from the wild.
Kindest Regards.
Neil.




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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
May 12, 2010 12:47 PM CST
A good lot of information, Neil. I saw them in Cornwall & didn't realize that you could grow them in London. I never realized that the 'stems' were not stems. Definetly 'out' in our climate but I am very glad that I saw them.
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
May 12, 2010 2:23 PM CST
Dear Lucy, Sue has a place near her in the north east of England where they grow, and she lives in Alnwick which is Border Country between England and Scotland. It is very cold up there, as her latest pictures of the tulips just coming out shows all to clearly. I believe that as people think they are some sort of rare exotic plant, they fuss over them too much. Especially as big ones are very expensive. It is really the dampness that can kill them, as that will freeze the inside and outside of the crown, That is why people bring them into a cold conservatory or greenhouse, as that keeps them dry.
Regards.
Neil.

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