Facts of Tree ferns

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Tree ferns Quick Facts
Name: Tree ferns
Scientific Name: Cyatheales
Calories 28 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin C (23.67%)
Manganese (16.65%)
Vitamin B2 (16.38%)
Copper (15.89%)
Vitamin B3 (15.53%)
Tree ferns are ferns which grow with trunk heightening the fronds above ground level. Most tree ferns are the members of core tree ferns that belong to the families Metaxyaceae, Dicksoniaceae and Cibotiaceae in the order Cyatheales. The order is the third group of ferns which grows to tree like forms. Two others are Marattiales, a eusporangiate order which extinct Psaronius evolved from and the order Polypodiales, an extinct genus Tempskya belongs. Moreover, many ferns in other groups are considered to be tree ferns such as several ferns belong to Osmundaceae family that can attain short trunks under a meter tall and ferns belonging to genus Cibotium can reach ten meters tall. Fern species in genera Blechnum, Cnemedaria, Calochleana, Cystodium, Culcita, Lophosoria, Leptopteris, Thyrsopterdis, Sadleria and Todea is considered to be tree ferns in liberal interpretation of the term.

Tree ferns are apparent plants of humid tropical forests around the world. The species which are found at lower elevations are widespread colonizers of disturbed and successional habitats. Various species are restricted to small range on islands or at higher elevations often in more mature forests on isolated tropical mountaintops.  The trunks of the tree consist of rhizomes that grow vertically and embedded in dense mantle of adventitious roots. The trunk could reach to the height of 25 meters or more in some species. The growing tip forms cluster of highly divided leaves that could reach several meters in length. Sori have a membranous protective covering that could take various forms such as kidney shaped, umbrella shaped and globose. Spores are trilete and globose.

Trunks are carved into tiki statues and other craft items which are sold to tourists in tropical resorts. Trunk cross sections form a beautiful pattern of light/ dark tissues that originates from vascular system of the stem as well as leaf traces. It is found in tropical, subtropical areas and temperate rainforests in Australia, New Zealand and other islands.


Tree ferns have large and multiple pinnate fronds. Trunk is a vertical or modified rhizome and woody tissue is absent. There are deposits of lignin in cell walls and lower part of stem is fortified with thick and interlocking mats of tiny roots.







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