Sphaeropteris Species, Australian Tree Fern, Giant Scaly Tree Fern 'Brentwood'

Sphaeropteris cooperi

Family: Cyatheaceae
Genus: Sphaeropteris (sfay-ROP-teris) (Info)
Species: cooperi (koo-PER-ee) (Info)
Cultivar: Brentwood
Synonym:Cyathea cooperi



Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From spores

Seed Collecting:

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


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


Grand Bay, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

El Sobrante, California

Garden Grove, California

Hayward, California

Lakewood, California

Los Angeles, California

Mckinleyville, California

Reseda, California

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

San Marino, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lady Lake, Florida

Lake Helen, Florida

Miami, Florida

Nokomis, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Gonzales, Louisiana

Columbus, Mississippi

Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Houston, Texas (3 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 23, 2009, DanKistner from Winter Haven, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Cool plant! Just bought one of these. I love how ferns grow and how nice it is to watch it super size!


On Jun 3, 2008, TropiSocal_dave from Garden Grove, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

One fern specialist, told me that the Brentwood fern contains both Brentwood and regular cooperi spores on them, and therefore it is impossible to know if it is a Brentwood until you see a larger trunk girth.


On Dec 1, 2007, lastmate from Okeechobee, FL wrote:

New fronds wither and die. Maybe to hot and dry, but water everyday. It had been windy also. Will fertize and hope for the best.


On Nov 9, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The Cyathea cooperi 'Brentwood' cultivar is generally larger, and the fronds darker green in colour, than that of the species. The trunk is also thicker. The 'Australian Tree Fern' which is commonly found for sale locally in the gardening departments of stores such as Orchard Supply Hardware is usually this cultivar. It is often misidentified as "Cyathea australis".


On Sep 22, 2006, jswords from columbus, MS (Zone 7b) wrote:

I am attempting another fern in the front of my house, rather protected, and at the foot of a drain. I am more concerned with the lowest temperatures in the winter. I'm in 7b, should I pot it and nurse it indoors for the winter? It's a fast grower, and a real show stopper which is why I chose it for my entryway area. I'll let you know how it fares.


On Aug 24, 2006, ladybug70 from Ione, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I've only recently (this week) purchased an Australian Tree Fern to plant in my newest garden area in my back yard under a couple of palm trees. I'll keep you posted on how it does in this central/north central area of Florida.


On May 30, 2001, BotanyBob from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

The common Australian Tree Fern, Cyathea cooperi, is a fairly fast growing tree fern, eventually growing up to 20'+ in height. However, this cultivar, 'Brentwood', is MUCH faster growing. It is beefier in every respect, too. If one is looking for a large tree fern that is going to provide a nice shade in a hurry, this is about the fastest one you can get. It's spread will eventually be 20'+ and grow easily as tall.

Tree ferns are fairly easy to grow, even from small plants, in the right atmosphere. Cyathea cooperi prefer warm (but not hot) climates with constant moisture. Though growing them in full sun can make them yellowy, keeping the trunk moist will help them acclimate to a sunny position. Trunk/stem moisture is critical to the health of most all tree ferns. T... read more