Common name:
Tree Fern

Family name:

Botanical name:
Dicksonia antarctica

Flowering/fruiting season:

Wet sclerophyll in moist gullies; not widely found but available throughout the year (Flood, 1980)


  • Food
  • Trunk was split open and starchy pith eaten raw or roasted (Flood, 1980)


  • '... soft, pithy tissue near the top of the trunk contains considerable quantities of starch and was eaten either raw or cooked by the Aborigines. ... like the tissues of many ferns, it contains tannin and is said to be astringent.' (Cribb & Cribb, 1987:154)
  • Dicksonia is capable of re-sprouting after removal of pith but Cyathea is not (Gott, 1995)


Language names:

Horticulture :
Shaded position, sheltered from wind with ample moisture. Protect from extreme frosts. (Wrigley & Fagg, 1998:306)

Similar species:
Cyathea spp. - much less common - but has a less bitter blander taste (Flood, 1980)

Use code:

Tree Fern

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