Cyathea × marcescens

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Cyathea × marcescens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Cyatheales
Family: Cyatheaceae
Genus: Cyathea
Subgenus: Cyathea
Section: Alsophila
Species: C. × marcescens
Binomial name
Cyathea × marcescens
N. A. Wakefield
  • Cyathea marcescens N. A. Wakefield
  • Alsophila marcescens (N. A. Wakefield) Tryon
  • Alsophila × marcescens (N. A. Wakefield) Tryon

Cyathea × marcescens, commonly known as the skirted tree fern, is a tree fern endemic to the Cape Otway ranges in Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. It is a natural hybrid, apparently Cyathea australis × Cyathea cunninghamii. Braggins and Large (2004) note that it has characteristics midway between these two species. The spores of C. × marcescens are usually malformed although sterile. The trunk of this plant is erect and up to 10 m tall. Fronds may be bi- or tripinnate and 3–4 m in length. Dead fronds often persist, forming a characteristic skirt around the trunk. The stipe is thick, black and warty. The rachis and trunk are covered in shiny, dark brown scales. Sori are borne near the fertile pinnule midvein and are protected by thin indusia that are saucer-like in appearance.

The type material was collected by N. A. Wakefield on Mount Drummer (specifically in Karlo Creek and "The Spring") in February, 1941 and Bungywarr Creek, Combienbar in August, 1941.

Cyathea × marcescens is a slow-growing plant that is sensitive to dry conditions and requires shelter from the sun and the wind.