Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Cyathea australis (R.Br.) Domin

Tall tree fern, the trunk mostly covered by the persisten bases of the stipes, the fronds, to 3m long, with conical spines on the base of the stipes.  To 20m.  [FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1833.

History at Camden Park

Plants were sent to James Backhouse and listed as ‘Tree ferns from Illawarra’ in a letter dated 10th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.136].  This consignment is very likely to have included Cyathea australis.  Other than Cyathea australis, Cyathea leichhhardtiana (F.Muell.) Copel. and Cyathea cooperi (Hook. ex F.Muell.) Domin, the only other tree fern found in the Illawarra is Dicksonia antartica Labill.  See separate entries for these ferns.

This fern was probably also planted in the gardens at Camden Park at this time.


Published Feb 10, 2009 - 05:07 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:19 PM

Family Cyatheaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, including the Illawarra



  • Alsophila australis R.Br.
Common Name

Rough treefern

Name in the Camden Park Record

Tree ferns from Illawarra [1] 

Confidence level