Dicksonia antarctica different species?

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marfanuk
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Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by marfanuk » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:43 am

I own 2 Dicksonia antarctica, one of about eighteen inches of trunk and there other with just over three foot.

My question is why are the fronds on the larger one upright and on the smaller one they are more or less horizontal?

I thought maybe its because of their size, but at my Doctors surgery they have two, one of around four foot and the other about five. The fronds on these are horizontal and hang down below that level.


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Adam D
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Adam D » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:54 am

I would guess that it is just different variations within the species.

Much like the variation you get within any species of animals or plants.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Dave Brown » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:12 pm

Another cause can be the how the Dicksonia antarctica was harvested. I have a small one now 16" of trunk which has a full crown of around 30 fronds. These are out to horizontal. It was bought in leaf 2 years ago, and the bases of the fronds are above the surrounding cut frond bases so it can spread out. The other 3 foot was bought as a log and all the fronds had been cut off flat. The new fronds grew from the middle but are not taller than the surrounding cut bases so it cannot spread out. I think this is why it is more upright, and I had planned to trim away the old bases to allow it to spread. Not got around to it yet though. :wink:
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by simon » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:48 pm

Another possibility is that this could be a sign of how healthy or well established the fern is. Often newly imported specimens that have been kept on the dry side will have a flush of fronds that take on a shuttlecock appearance because the lack of water has stunted the fronds and they are therefore not large enough to sag under their own weight. Once they have been given a few years to establish and have been given lots of water, they will take on a more open habit. I think it stands to reason that larger specimens given the same treatment as a smaller ones might tend toward the shuttlecock look because there will be more evaporation from the trunk and direct sunlight on the trunk won't help matters. This is bourne out by some of the huge Dicksonia antarctica at Cotswolts Safari Park which look a bit rediculous with a tiny tuft of frond on top.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Dave Brown » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:10 am

I'm not disagreeing with you Simon but I took a couple of pics of my 2 different habit Dicksonia antarctica to try and explain further what I meant about the harvesting and subsequent growth theory

This is my shuttlecock shaped one, Danny Dicksonia antarctica
021009 Dan DA 01.jpg
And this shows how it was straight cut across the top when harvested/shipped. These hardened dead frond bases act as a barrier stopping the new fronds spreading out.
021009 Dan DA 02.jpg
Now this is my smaller but more open, Delboy Dicksonia antarctica. This one appeared to have been harvested by just removing fronds so had a dome shaped setof frond bases. This allows the new fronds to spread out sideways :wink:
021009 Delboy DA 01.jpg
021009 Delboy DA 02.jpg
This is not a conclusive experiment just an observation of the 2 I have and the different growth patterns. :wink:
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by marfanuk » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:31 pm

Thanks Guys, I do actually understand both theories and it would be good to see them proved.

I would have thought that the creation of the shuttlecock growth or the flatter growth technique would have been documented somewhere on the internet.

I do personally prefer the shuttlecock look and it also takes up less space. My larger Dicksonia antarctica with the shuttlecock fronds was only purchased a couple on months, when i received it, it was very dry and the fronds had been sawn off to create a flat surface the same as Yours Dave with the shuttlecock fronds.

My other Dicksonia antarctica has been pretty much left to its own devices. I have just cut off the dead fronds as necessary and that has the flat fronds.

When they die off in the winter I will cut them both flat with a saw to try and recreate the shuttlecock fronds for next year.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Conifers » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:41 pm

Dicksonia squarrosa (from New Zealand) is very similar to D. antarctica and probably just as hardy if not hardier. Not sure how you'd tell the two apart.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Adam D » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:03 pm

Conifers wrote:Dicksonia squarrosa (from New Zealand) is very similar to D. antarctica and probably just as hardy if not hardier. Not sure how you'd tell the two apart.
No. they are very different.

Not gettiing confused with fibrosa are you mate?


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Mick C » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:08 pm

I understand that squarrosa is not as hardy as Dicksonia antarctica Conifers, maybe this is because the trunks are much thinner. I'd like to hear that I'm wrong, I have a small squarrosa that does not much like being in a pot.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Dave Brown » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:54 am

There is no mistaking DS for Dicksonia antarctica or visa versa Conifers they ARE different species and DS trunk is much thinner. The comparison of hardiness is a discussion for a new topic :wink:
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by marfanuk » Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:04 pm

Conifers wrote:Dicksonia squarrosa (from New Zealand) is very similar to D. antarctica and probably just as hardy if not hardier. Not sure how you'd tell the two apart.
I have one of those too. They look different and the fronds feel rough to touch, whereas Dicksonia antarctica is much softer.


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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by fgtbell » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:14 am

Conifers wrote:Dicksonia squarrosa (from New Zealand) is very similar to D. antarctica and probably just as hardy if not hardier. Not sure how you'd tell the two apart.
The hairs on the stipes of D. squarrosa feel soft and furry, and the trunks tend to be thin "pipe-organ" shaped. D. antarctica is much less soft, and the trunk much thicker and squatter. D. fibrosa tends to have a triangular trunk profile being thick at the base, noticeably narrower at the top, and the greenery of the fronds feels "crunchy", not soft at all.
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by weve » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:52 pm

old thread, but thought I'd add my experiences regarding horizontal fronds.

I have 5 Dicksonia antarctica all of different sizes, growing quite closely together. The effect I hoped for was they would 'interlink' their canopies due to their size differences (if you see what a mean icon_scratch ).

This was spoilt by one (4ft) Dicksonia antarctica producing its fronds absolutely horizontally. They look normal croziers, but even when unencumbered by other new or old fronds, the rachis would bend sharply downwards until horizontal quite near to the trunk, just as the new crozier started to unfurl. Whilst this would look fine as a single specimen it annoyingly spoilt the whole effect I wanted from the group planting and I had resigned myself that I just would have to live with it

However after 5 years in the ground, this year it has produced, for the first time ever, fronds without the bend (for no apparent reason i can think of). Its has now the usual open shuttlecock shape icon_cheers like the others.

I have absolutely no idea why the change this year, but if you have a 'horizontal' Dicksonia antarctica, it looks likely it will revert to 'normal' at some stage.

One difference I noticed tho' is, I have one Dicksonia antarctica from Victoria (not the errant 4' one i hasten to add) the rest are from Tasmania. The 'Victorian' one's fronds remain green throughout the winters and usually last two years+ before browning, whereas the Tas ones brown usually some months after their first winter. Presumably Victoria is colder in winter than Tasmania (altho' further North it may have a more continental rather than maritime climate). Just wondered if this was the norm re Victoria V Tasmania Dicksonia antarctica or is it peculiar to just this one and nothing to do with its place of origin,
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by Tom2006 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:10 pm

My largest produced the shuttle cock shaped fronds this year BUT its initial crown of 20+ fronds were damaged by frost and the bizarre shape was the next batch. Over this year it has recitfied itself by sending out fronds that have given it a more uniform "normal" shape.
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Re: Dicksonia antarctica different species?

Post by mumfie » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:34 am

personal observation in terms of upright fronds vs horizontal is location. i have one that used to be half day full sun and half day shade. the result was fronds curving and leaning towards the sun. the fern used to look like it was leaning almost towards light. i moved it in to more regular light conditions and more shady. the fronds are definitely more upright now. i guess in nature they would naturally stretch towards light from the canopy above (emphasis on the word guess)


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