Cyathea medullaris now known as Sphaeropteris medullaris or if you prefer ‘The Black Tree Fern’ is perhaps one of the most desired, talked about tree ferns here. With large impressive black ribbed fronds up to 5 metres long held on strong stems, themselves covered in masses of furry black scales complemented by the fairly narrow dark brown to black trunk this is a striking tree fern. Cyathea medullaris is fast growing too, happy in a container as long as it is repotted every few years and very rewarding for impatient gardeners rapidly developing into a large specimen. Great you might think and yes I suppose it is but, and there is a but unfortunately the black tree fern needs space, shelter and a mild garden. Ideally positioned in dappled shade away from strong winds…..and importantly away from frost. For some this is enough to decide that perhaps Cyathea medullaris isn’t the plant for them but many fall under the spell of this tree fern, it’s just so beautiful rationale get’s thrown out the window and you will find yourself convincing those around you that it’ll be no problem protecting it from frost and well my garden doesn’t get that cold. Just be warned or move to Cornwall or the West Coast of Ireland it’s probably worth it to watch this marvellous plant grow to perfection.