Cyathea medullaris



Kaulf. 1827

pronounced: sigh-ath-ee-AY-see-eye

the lacy tree fern family

Cyatheaceae is derived from the Greek κυαθειον (kyatheion), a little cup, referring to the structure that encloses the sorus. These are terrestrial ferns with a trunklike erect rhizome, reaching a height of several metres, and densely covered with scales. The stipes are stout, spreading from the crown. The fronds are uniform, their lamina bipinnate or more compound, membranous to leathery, the venation circinate. The sori are circular and superficial, the indusium may be absent; if present, it at least partly encloses the sporangia.

Since the exact number of species is not known, classification of this family has had a long and controversial history, and is still undergoing revision.


Photograph by gerald.w via Wikimedia Commons