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Soft Tree-fern

Soft Tree-fern

D.antarctica
Photographer - John Broomfield
Source - Museum Victoria
D.antarctica
Photographer - Ross Field
D.antarctica
Photographer - John Broomfield
Source - Museum Victoria
D.antarctica
Photographer - John Broomfield
Source - Museum Victoria

Dicksonia antarctica

A large, hardy, common tree-fern to 15m tall often buttressed at the base and with smooth frond stems covered in fine hairs. Fibrous matted roots cover most of the trunk.

In specimens growing under dense canopies in forest gullies, the trunks are often bent reflecting earlier impacts of fallen trees and limbs from the upper canopy.

Patterns of frond stubs on the trunk indicate dryness of past seasons.

Aboriginal people ate the pith from the centre of the trunk. The sap was also rubbed on insect bites to relieve itchiness and pain.

Possums often use the crowns as campsites and rosellas and possums will eat the unrolling fronds.

Epiphytic ferns are common on the trunks of Dicksonia and the soft, moist trunks form nursery sites for many tree and shrub species including Southern Beech, wattles, Hazel Pomaderris, daisy bushes and Prickly Currant-bushes.


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