Dicksonia sellowiana

Dicksonia sellowiana comes from from South America (from southern Mexico all the way down as far as Uruguay) can now be rated hardy along with lines of Dicksonia antarctica and Dicksonia fibrosa. It’s trunk height can grow up to 10 metres which is very fibrous and similar in this respect to Dicksonia fibrosa. Fronds are tripinnate and have an overall maximum length of up to 3 metres on larger plants. Their usual habitat would be in high altitude in cool montane rain forest regions.

In my experience it has proved to be as hardy as both the aforementioned Dicksonias in cultivation in Ireland. It is also very similar in its overall physical appearance as Dicksonia antarctica with its fronds and as outlined earlier Dicksonia fibrosa with its trunk. I have had one planted out in a sheltered position in my garden to test out for the past 5 winters and the results are extremely encouraging. It came through the winter of January 2010 without losing a single frond (wheras some of my Dicksonia fibrosa fared worse).

There are couple of minor differences from Dicksonia sellowiana and Dicksonia antarctica that I have noticed. For one the fronds keep coming up throughout the growing season if the plant is kept moist and fed. The other would be the hairs on the stipes would be of a lighter brown to Dicksonia antarctica. the trunk would be more in keeping with Dicksonia fibrosa too as mentioned earlier. This is a collectors item really due to it’s overall similarity to Dicksonia antarctica / Dicksonia fibrosa and it’s rarity in cultivation it is never going to be a big seller. Flourishes if kept moist and well fed during warmer weather.

Hardiness: Hardy to around -6 / -7 celsius