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Uses

Toxic parts

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[1]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Pith of stem - raw or cooked[3][4][5][6][7]. Rich in starch, the portion below the growing point is the part used[7], do not confuse this with the trunk of the plant, which is made up of a peaty substance from the decaying roots[K]. The pith is used as a coarse sago substitute[8]. The pith contains (dry weight) 3.6% protein, 7.4% starch, 3.1% lipids and 3% simple reducing sugars[6]. The stem is often damaged some time prior to harvest in order to improve the flavour of the pith, a slimy red bitter gum exudes from the wound[6]. Harvesting the stem kills the plant and so cannot normally be condoned[7].

Base of the frond stems - cooked.

Young new croziers - cooked[6]. Harvested just before they unfurl, they are juicy and slimy, tasting somewhat like bitter celery[7].

Leaves

Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Cyathea medullaris.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Cyathea medullaris.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Spores - can be surface sown at any time of the year in a light position in a warm greenhouse[9]. Keep moist by standing the pot in shallow water or by enclosing it in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 - 3 months at 25°c. Prick out patches of the young plants into small pots and stand the pots in shallow water until the plants are well established[9]. Grow on in a shady position in a greenhouse for at least the first two winters and plant out in late spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cyathea medullaris. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a humus-rich soil in a sheltered light position but with shade from strong sun It grows well in light woodland. Requires shelter from winds, an abundance of moisture at its roots and its trunk kept wet[10][11][1].

A very ornamental plant, it succeeds outdoors in woodland conditions in the mildest parts of the country, but is tender in most parts of Britain[11]. It can bet grown in pots in a shady position in a conservatory or cool greenhouse and placed outside in the summer[10]. It can grow well in very small pots[10].

Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[12].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cyathea medullaris. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cyathea medullaris.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cyathea medullaris
Genus
Cyathea
Family
Cyatheaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
9
Heat Zone
?
Water
high
Sun
Shade
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    ?
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    9 x 6 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? Schofield. J. J. Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest. ()
    3. ? 3.03.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria. ()
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Crowe. A. Native Edible Plants of New Zealand. Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-508302 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.4 Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.3 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Arnold-Forster. Shrubs for the Milder Counties. ()
    12. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    13. ? Allan. H. H. Flora of New Zealand. Government Printer, Wellington. (1961-00-00)