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Tree ferns are older than dinosaurs.

And that's not even the most interesting thing about them!

  • Tree ferns have been found to pre-date dinosaurs, growing as early as the Carboniferous period 300-360 million years ago.

  • Ferns are also particularly hardy plants and often the first plants to show signs of recovery in the early weeks after bushfires.

With massive fronds creating a luxuriously green canopy in the understory of Australian forests, tree ferns are a familiar sight on many long drives or bushwalks. But how much do you really know about them?

First of all, tree ferns are ferns, but they are not really trees. To be a tree, a plant must be woody (undergo secondary plant growth, which thickens stems and roots) and grow to a height of at least three metres when mature. While tree ferns can have single, thick trunk-like stems and can grow to a height of more than 15 metres, they are never woody.

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