Cyathea cooperi

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Cyathea cooperi
Blendys garden inferno ag.jpg
C. cooperi in Blandys Garden, Madeira
Scientific classification
Polypodiopsida /
 Pteridopsida (disputed)
C. cooperi
Binomial name
Cyathea cooperi
(W. J. Hooker ex F. von Mueller) Domin, 1929
  • Alsophila cooperi W. J. Hooker ex F. von Mueller, 1866
  • Sphaeropteris cooperi (W. J. Hooker ex F. von Mueller) Tryon, 1970

Cyathea cooperi, also known as the Australian tree fern, lacy tree fern, scaly tree fern, or Cooper's tree fern, is a tree fern native to Australia, in New South Wales and Queensland.


Cyathea cooperi is a medium-to-large fast growing tree fern, to 15 metres (49 ft) in height with a 12-inch (30 cm) thick trunk. The apex of the trunk and unfurling crosiers are particularly attractive, covered as they are with conspicuous long, silky, straw colored scales. The crown is widely spread and the light green fronds may reach a length of 4–6 metres (13–20 ft). The Cyathea cooperi can also very rarely be found in the colour of a pale pink with an orange stripe going down the middle. This is extremely rare and can be worth about 2,000 dollars.


Cyathea cooperi is one of the most commonly cultivated tree ferns as an ornamental plant. It is used in gardens and public landscaping. It is hardy and easy to grow. Heavy frosts may kill the fronds, but plants recover quickly. The plant prefers protected, shady moist conditions but can be grown in sunny areas. It does not do well in full sun and must be well watered. Heavy frosts can kill the fronds, but the plants recover quickly. It does not grow in its optimal form in full sun.

It is sometimes mislabeled in the nursery industry as Cyathea australis.


It has naturalised in Western Australia, South Australia, and parts of New South Wales where it is not native. It has also naturalized in Hawaii and has become a problem there as an aggressive invasive species.



  • Braggins, John E. & Large, Mark F. 2004. Tree Ferns. Timber Press, Inc., p. 115. ISBN 0-88192-630-2
  • The International Plant Names Index: Cyathea cooperi

Further reading[edit]

  • Notes on the Status of an Invasive Australian Tree Fern (Cyathea cooperi) in Hawaiian Rain Forests. A. C. Medeiros, L. L. Loope, T. Flynn, S. J. Anderson, L. W. Cuddihy, K. A. Wilson. American Fern Journal, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1992), pp. 27–33. doi:10.2307/1547758