Cyathea dregei

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Cyathea dregei
Cyathea dregei00.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Cyatheales
Family: Cyatheaceae
Genus: Cyathea
Subgenus: Cyathea
Section: Alsophila
Species: C. dregei
Binomial name
Cyathea dregei
Kunze, 1836
  • Alsophila dregei (Kunze) Tryon, 1970
  • Cyathea burkei W. J. Hooker, 1844
  • Cyathea angolensis Welwitsch ex W. J. Hooker, 1865

Cyathea dregei, also known as the Common Tree Fern and Gewone Boomvaring in Afrikaans, is a widespread species of tree fern in southern Africa. The specific epithet dregei commemorates Johann Franz Drège (1794-1881), a German plant collector and explorer who worked extensively in South Africa and who is referred to as Drège when citing botanical names.

It is native to Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa from the Western Cape province to KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

Cyathea dregei grows on stream banks, in forest margins and in grasslands. Plants are most common at an altitude of 900–1,800 metres (3,000–5,900 ft). In the wild, it is known to be fire resistant.


Cyathea dregei has an erect, stout trunk is up to 5 metres (16 ft) tall and 20-45 cm in diameter. It is a variable species, usually having a thick trunk and dense crown. It is sometimes branched.

Fronds are bi- or tripinnate and may reach 3 m in length. They are characteristically large and arching, with the lowest pinnae usually reduced. The upper surface of fronds is glabrate, while the lower surface may be tomentose.

The rachis and stipe are brown in colouration and have a rough surface. The stipe is covered in brown scales. Up to twelve sori occur per group per pinnule.

The Common Tree Fern is often found growing beside rivers, like this one near Cape Town.


Cyathea dregei is relatively common in cultivation as an ornamental plant, especially in South Africa and Australia. Plants should be sheltered and grown in rich humus, with a constant supply of moisture. This species can survive light frosts with little damage.


External links[edit]

Media related to Cyathea dregei at Wikimedia Commons