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King fern

Todea barbara

King fern is a tree-like fern with stout black rhizomes and short thick trunks that can grow to 80cm tall. In nature it is found in moist areas alongside streams, in rainforest gullies and other wet spots in tall open forest. It can occasionally be found in drier sites, growing from rock crevices among sandstone or granite cliffs or rockfaces. Natural populations are under threat due to habitat loss through land clearance and competition from weeds. Unlike true tree ferns they cannot be transplanted when it is mature.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed
Sow spores as soon as ripe in warm conditions.
Division
Divide in early summer but only after several trunks have developed.

Special features

Geography

Origin
South Eastern Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Personality

Family
Osmundaceae
Scent
None

Problems

Susceptible to mealy bug when grown indoors

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