Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Silver Tree Fern, Ponga
Cyathea dealbata

Family: Cyatheaceae
Genus: Cyathea (sigh-ATH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: dealbata (day-al-BAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Polypodium dealbatum
Synonym:Cyathea tricolor
Synonym:Alsophila tricolor

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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Thumbnail #1 of Cyathea dealbata by kennedyh

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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5 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bikerlady On Feb 6, 2012, bikerlady from Summerfield, FL wrote:

Have grown this plant in South Florida where it flourished year long, and lately in Central Florida where it can sometimes go into freezing weather. I have covered the plant and have also left it uncovered during those freezing periods. The result seems to be the same. It has been beaten back with fronds turning brown, but it has survived and continued to grow from a little thing when I planted it six years ago, to over six feet tall, and it reaches this height every year, no matter what kind of beating it gets in the winter. It gets full sun every day and is somewhat protected by being planted up into an angle of the house. I believe Summerfield FL is zone 8. It is one of the most beautiful plants I have ever had in my gardens.

Positive aulani61 On Feb 6, 2012, aulani61 from Emporia, KS wrote:

These beautiful tree ferns grow well in Hawaii. I know people on the Big Island who use them as a natural greenhouse for their commercial anthurium growing operation. Beneath twin rows of these ferns grow the anthuriums of every color and variety. Genius!

Positive mattycindy On Aug 14, 2009, mattycindy from Christchurch
New Zealand wrote:

This tree fern is easily recognized by its distinctive silvery underside of the frond. Young plants are however green underneath.
It is found throughout New Zealand in lowland to montane forests.

It is easily grown and will tolerate drier conditions than the other tree ferns. Does best in a sheltered site with shade or semi shade and good moist, well-composted soil is best. Suitable for growing in a large pot too.

Neutral Cretaceous On Jun 21, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to New Zealand.

Cyathea are listed on CITES Appendix II.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Sep 24, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

PBS had a documentary about these regal ferns planted on an island off the coast of Ireland. They were said to be over a century old.....

Positive koolkatken On May 25, 2005, koolkatken from Auckland
New Zealand wrote:

Beautiful addition to a tropical look. Does not like lots of sun and needs plenty of water. Great for the shady, damp areas of the house where you don't know what to put there.

Neutral kennedyh On Sep 9, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a New Zealand tree-fern, growing commonly all over New Zealand, mostly on dry forested hillsides. The fronds are silvery on the under surface and give rise to one of the emblems of New Zealand, the silver fern.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Summerfield, Florida
Woodland, Washington

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