Cyathea dealbata is a very striking and beautiful tree fern. It is a slow grower eventually reaching a trunk height of 10 metres or more and has a stout, thick woody trunk up to 45cm in diameter.
It is a very distinct and easily recognized New Zealand tree fern, made famous by the New Zealand rugby team using the silver frond on their jerseys. It is better known in New Zealand by the Maori name of ‘Ponga’. The underneath of fronds and the stems of fronds near the trunk are a distinctive silver-white. This only happens on mature fronds of one year old or more. The juvenile fronds are green at first, with the silver white effect only showing on mature fronds.
It would be my opinion that this is the hardiest of the Cyathea species, most probably due to the thickness of the trunk affording it more cold protection than other Cyathea species. This was the only Cyathea species to survive the 2 harsh winters of 2010.
The best example in the Gardens can be found as one nears the end of the Red Walk, to your left, just before you re enter the Primeval Forest.