After a long time, I present a new fern in my blog. But this Fern is completely different from the ferns, I've shown you before. It's Cyathea medullaris (G. Font) Sw. from the Cyatheaceae family. The Cyatheaceae are a very old family, which exists since the Jurassic, when they form entire forests. Today, the members of this family are still belonging to the biggest, remaining ferns on Earth. In English, C. medullaris is known as “Black Tree Fern” and in German as “Schwarzer Becherfarn”. In the Maori language, this plant is called “mamaku” or “katata”.
C. medullaris - habitus
It's a large fern, which can reach heights until 20 metres (65.6 feet). The triply pinnate frond's are also very large with a maximum length of 5 metres (16.4 feet). Their stipes have a characteristic black colour and are covered with black, hexagonal scales at the base. Each scale has marginal spines and leaves a hexagonal mark on the stipe, what is also a distinctive feature of this species.
C. medullaris - triply pinnate frond
As with the most ferns, young fronds of C. medullaris are rolled in a form, which reminds to the head of a fiddle. These young fronds are also covered with scales, which also have marginal spines.
C. medullaris - a young rolled frond at the base
(note the scales covering it)
The sori are arranged on the ventral site of the fronds. They have no veil.
C. medullaris - the black stipe
C. medullaris is endemic to New Zealand. It can be found mainly in the lowlands of the Northern Island but also in the coastal regions of the Southern Island. It grows in forests and is very undemanding towards the soil. However, it grows very slow.