C. Australis

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Does anyone know of any place that sells C. Australis?
I originally bought this at Home Depot 6 or 7 years ago as C. Cooperi. Dave helped me i.d. it as C. Australis happy accident for me. For the life of me I can't figure out why these ferns aren't the main sellers in the U.S. instead of the C. Cooperi. It's far more cold tolerant, down to zero- it's survived 2 hard 3 day freezes, a snow storm, drought and 2 Hurricanes. I do wrap the fern in out door seat cushions when it freezes. It's an excellent specimen for the southern U.S. It's lost all of it's fronds the past two years during the winter, but comes back. I would love to get my hands on a couple more.

Thumbnail by rjuddharrison
Hiouchi, CA(Zone 8b)

if you can't find C. Australis
try a Dicksonia antarctica it seems more available and is hardy for me

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

That is a good suggestion, in fact I have tried Dicksonia, they can't seem to tolerate our hot summers. They do well in winter and spring, then wither away when it gets hot. I should give it another try perhaps.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

I've wondered why C. australis isn't more available too. This reference: http://www.angelfire.com/wa/margate/australis.html describes it as possibly more cold-hardy than Dicksonia antarctica, which I lost a large plant of this past winter.

Bardstown, KY(Zone 6a)

You might try fancyfronds.com. Judith sells quite a large variety of ferns.


This message was edited Jun 9, 2011 10:54 AM

Churchill, Victoria, Australia(Zone 10a)

You ask why C. australis isn't more available compared with Dicksonia antarctica. The same applies here in SE Australia, where both species are common in the wild. The reason here is that C.australis does not transplant easily from the wild, so that garden plants mostly have to be grown from spores, which is a very slow way of getting a tree-fern. D.antarctica on the other-hand transplants very easily. They can be cut off at the base and planted and will quickly put out fresh roots and establish themselves in their new location.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Now we're getting some where. Thanks for the input.
I accidentally grew 2 from spores when I cut some of the spent fronds and left them in the garden on some arkansas border rock. The spores seemed to like the rock. I should have left them alone, I lost them when I tried to transplant them from the rock. The tallest was about 4 inches tall.
I guess I need to figure out how to grow them from spore then....It seemed that they grew pretty quickly as it went from spore to 4 inches in a year, that seems pretty good to me.
I tried to propagate by intent last year but failed. Think I'll need some expert input when I try again, perhaps by the fern society.


Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

ive kicked around the idea of growing a tree fern here in provo utah... am i insane?? :)
i dont have a greenhouse..yet.. can tree ferns be dug and held overwinter in dormancy..then planted out
again? are they tender when it comes to transplanting..being dug up??
thanks.. appreciate thoughts..ideas..

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I did do that the first year I had the tree fern...dug it up and put it in the green house. I think it would be tougher as the plant grew. Most of the folks here grow them in pots and put them in shelter during winter...but they are scrawny looking...all be it...better than dead!

Provo, UT(Zone 5a)

thanks rjudd harrison..
so did your tree fern have any shock from digging up? and planting again in spring?
i lived in n houston a million yrs ago.. loved it.. i grew up in south dakota..couldnt get over
planting tomatoes in march.. LOL i think they grew an inch every nite..:)
id like to try a tree fern.. reading..?? is the cyanthea brownii or robusta more hardy
tree ferns..over the cooperi??
also.. does anyone know where i can get a brownii or robusta??
thanks all...

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

The australis has been the best sport, it was fine when I dug it up and put it in the ground both times. It has weathered hurricanes, hard freezes, saturted wet seasons and most recently the worst drought on record here. That's not to say she isn't the most pampered plant in the garden! I do my best to give her the advantage, but mostly it's because it's a remarkable fern! The c. Cooperi is very much a challenge in non preferred zones.

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