ID- sold as 'Cyathea cooperi'

eken9966(z8 AL)April 11, 2005

I bought this today and when I was researching how to care for it, I found out that Cyathea cooperi has brown and white stipes, whereas Cyathea australis has only brown stipes. Accordingly, Would you experts please opine as to genus and species. Thanks!


Frond unfurling

Overall impression

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stephenpope2000uk(Brighton, UK)

That's definitely Cyathea cooperi. No C.australis are available in the US as far as I know, although for any PNW gardeners out on other coast it would be the climatically viable choice, rather than C.cooperi. But there aren't any on your side of the Atlantic (UK gardeners here can buy grubbed-up australis trunks, plus a few roots, from the occasional specialist import nursery, but it's not a commonly available species yet).

Maybe you've been unrealistically pessimistic in rating your location as Zone8, but it's not generally assumed Cyathea cooperi will survive a winter that cold - especially a youngster like you've pictured. An indoor frost-free winter berth will be essential if your rating is accurate.

Steve - Brighton, UK

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 5:39AM
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eken9966(z8 AL)

Thanks for the ID Steve. This little jewel ain't going to spend the winter in the ground outdoors. Our nursery retailers are telling us that these are hardy in our zone and some people are trying it. With HEAVY winter mulch, they get frond die back but the crown lives. Of course, it takes them so long to recover the following summer, they are about the same size they were when they were planted when the frost gets them and never develop into anything impressive. In our zone, we only have a light freeze every week or so during the winter with only a couple of days every winter that stay below freezing. I only put on long breeches maybe 3-4 times this winter. The rest of the time it is bermuda shorts and T-shirts.
Thanks again for the ID,

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 8:44AM
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You can grow your cooperi outside at all times in your climate IF you protect it from temperatures below 28F. I grew this one easily in Gainesville, FL for years. The only problem is moving the damn thing once it acquires size.

I had mine in a 50 gallon nursery pot and moved it into a garage every time the night temps were gonna go into the 20's. I used a two wheel handcart to do this. I'd just leave it lying on its side on the cart until the temps went up in the morning a put it outside again. It will stop growing in the deep winter months (maybe push one frond), but rebound quickly once the warm weather returns. To get these happy all you do is give them bright shade, tons of water (but with excellent drainage), and an aggressive fertilizing schedule (temps above 65F only). Man, they take off when you do that! Over a foot of trunk a year.

Your little guy can be twice its size now by fall if you double the pots size and treated as I suggest. You'd be amazed. Don't try it inside, you'll kill it eventually. Never let it dry out, this kills them everytime. Good luck and have fun. PF

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 7:12PM
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abekhoury(z8A Ga)

I have three C. cooperi In the ground full time. They need a lot of protection at first but once they get some size to them the cold becomes less of a factor.So far this winter mine have taken temps down to 24f un protected with no damage at all. I also have a friend who has some with six foot trunks that have taken 17f and lived.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 12:52AM
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