Botanical Name: Sphaeropteris cooperiis
Common Name: Australian Tree Fern
This is such a cool plant! I always have one of these growing in my shade garden. This is a large, single-trunk, evergreen fern that grows 30′ in its native habitat of Australia. Here it’s normally seen around 15′ tall, with the fronds spreading 8-15′ wide. It’s a fast grower once it gets established. What it does though is grows the top frond area first, then starts putting on height. So don’t be surprised if it stays short the first couple of years. Plant this gorgeous plant in your part to full shade garden. Like most ferns, it’s not considered extremely drought tolerant. As long as we get our usual summer rains though, it doesn’t need much additional irrigation. I suggest protecting young plants if the winter temps get below 30. Once they’re established, they’ll survive our normal winters fine. But when that hard winter freeze that we get every ten years or so comes through, it might die back to its roots but it should come on right back in the Spring.
Zones 8 – 11