Black Tree Fern

This is my favourite of the various tree ferns we have in New Zealand. There’s few to be seen down south but we know of a lovely example tucked away in Queens Park, Invercargill, Southland. We checked on it during our visit of 26 October.

Black Tree Fern, Mamaku, Cyathea medullaris

Our tallest tree fern, they can grow to a height of 20 metres. If you look very carefully at these photos you’ll see the outlines of tall young fronds against the sky that haven’t yet unrolled their green foliage.





This is NOT the well-known “silver fern” but that tree fern is in the same genus.

If you’d like to read a concise summary about New Zealand’s tree ferns, Te Papa has a good page at  What’s a punga?

Photos 1 and 4 taken by me, photos 2 and 3 by Nigel.

Text by Liz, photos by Liz and Nigel; Exploring Colour (2019)

14 thoughts on “Black Tree Fern

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    1. I enjoyed seeing more tree fern species when we lived in the north island, also there’s lots on the west (wet) coast of the south island. There’s tree ferns down south here but they’re rather tough abrasive looking things!

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  1. Tree ferns are truly magnificent. You see them in some of the big gardens here and they are great to photograph. Yours must be amazing – can’t even imagine what a 20-metre tree fern must be like! 🙂

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  2. I have a deep love for tree ferns – and I never stopped photographing them when we visited NZ. My husband had to wait for me everywhere I found one… And of course I bought a Koru in jade stone with me home. I wear it on special occasions only. Beautiful shots.

    Liked by 1 person

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