Silver fern

Cyathea dealbata


Ponga

The silver fern is New Zealand's national emblem. This fern can be easliy identified by the trunk which is covered in peg like remains of the stipe and the underneath of the frond which is silver in ferns which are 3 to 4 years old. Young silver ferns can be recognised by their silver stipe (the back of the leaves do not turn silver initially). The silver fronds make a good marker to show direction in the bush (they show up at night) Maori used the fronds on the floor but turned the fronds silver side down as the spores irritate the skin (according to Crowe)
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