spores of Cyathea dealbata, Silver Tree Fern

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Cyathea dealbata Samen
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Cyathea dealbata, also known as Polypodium dealbatum, Cyathea tricolor or Alsophila tricolor, is tree fern species that whose growth is widespread in New Zealand. Other commonly used names for the fern include Silver fern. Ponga or Silver tree fern. Cyathea dealbata is famous for being one of the chief symbols New Zealand is identified by. The areas in New Zealand where the growth of the plant is most prevalent include Dunedin, Maher’s swamp and in the Three kings island. Cyathea dealbata is capable of growing to a height of up to 10 metres. The fronds have a silvery colouration on their surface and can grow to a length of 4 metres. The scales are slightly shiny and have a dark brown colouration. The stem is hairy, and sporangia are located in small capsules right beneath the leaves. Cyathea dealbata is green all year round and sensitive to frost. The pith of the stem is edible and can be harvested and eaten. The same edibility extends to the leaves which can be cooked. The plant can also be utilized for ornamental purposes owing to its beautiful features. Cyathea dealbata has been used for symbolic purposes by New Zealanders for decades. The Silver tree fern logo is used by the Government in its coat of arms. The logo is also used in dairy products, companies, political parties and the alternative flags of the country. Cyathea dealbata grows best under the shade in soils that have plenty of humus and moisture. While the shade is necessary, the protection provided must be from sunshine that is ideally hot. Cyathea dealbata should also be protected from strong winds. The soils should ideally be moderate loamy, a bit sandy or clay that’s heavy. It, therefore, follows that the ideal location for the growth of this plant would be the woodland areas. Cyathea dealbata reaches maturity after 3 to 4 years.
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