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 leichhardtiana (F.Muell.) Copel.

Medium tree fern with narrow trunk covered with prickly, persisten stipe bases, and fronds to 3m.  To 7m.  [FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

See History at Camden Park.

History at Camden Park

Plants were collected at Moreton Bay by Ludwig Leichhardt and this could be the fern referred to as Leichhardt no. 14 in a consignment of plants sent to Loddiges’ nursery on 1st February 1849 [MP A2933-1, p.185].  It could also have been sent to James Backhouse on 10th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.136], listed simply as ‘Tree ferns from Illawarra’.  This consignment is very likely to have included Cyathea leichhhardtiana.  Other than Cyathea leichhardtiana, Cyathea australis (R.Br.) Domin 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 - 05:24 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:23 PM

Family Cyatheaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, including the Illawarra



  • Alsophila leichhardtiana F.Muell.
Common Name

Prickly treefern

Name in the Camden Park Record

Fern Leichhardt No.14 

Confidence level medium