Cyathea cooperi or the ‘Lacy Tree Fern’ is a beautiful very fast growing tree fern from New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. With long delicate fronds which in the wild can grow over 5 metres long held on sturdy stems clothed a layer of hairy golden brown scales which characteristically have pale almost white edges. A feature which can be used to identify young Sphaeropteris cooperi which are often mislabelled as the much harder to find and hardier Cyathea australis in the nursery trade. Prefering moist humus rich soils in a dappled shady position away from strong winds and importantly almost frost free conditions it is perhaps not the easiest to accommodate. But for me the reason to have one of these wonderful ferns is that they are very easy to grow in a container, particularly rewarding in terms of fast growth and impressive appearance. It should be noted that botanists have been looking at the whole Cyathea group and in their wisdom have decided to rename quiet a few, titles such as Sphaeropteris cooperi you see here and Alsophila australis instead of Cyathea australis, all very confusing.
So in summary a fast growing, ultimately large but with narrow trunked tree fern and magnificent fronds over 5 metres long that is easy to grow provided it is kept above 0 degrees centigrade during the winter.