Cyathea medullaris
Black Tree Fern
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology

A member of the Cyatheaceae family and once widespread during the Jurassic period, they now are only found in the wild in New Zealand, Fiji, and Polynesia. In New Zealand the Mauri name for these trees is Mamaku.

The largest of the tree ferns, these can grow up to 20 metres high with each frond of a young, healthy tree being 3-4 metres long.

 
Close up of 'fur'
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology
This is a unique tree in that the trunk, known as a caudex, along with the lower part of each stem, is covered in dense black fur.
 
New growth
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology
New growth is identical to that of the true ferns, with each frond "unrolling" as it develops.
 
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