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)