Cyathea cooperi can grow up to 12m in height (Wilson, 2007). The stipe base of Cyathea cooperi has two different types of scales. The first being dark, small scales and the other being large, pale, papery scales. The latter is the reason for the shaggy blond mat of scales that forms. After the leaves die, the stipes will fall off at the trunk leaving oval scars (Medeiroset al, 1992). The sorus lacks an indisium and has a ring of small scales around the sporangia (Heenanet al, 1998). The fronds of C. cooperi can grow up to 5m long (Wilson, 2007). HEAR (2006) states, \"Blades 2-pinnate-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate at base, green or light green above, paler below; rachises with dark brown, obtuse tubercles. Pinnae up to 65 x 26cm. Pinnules stalked, tips acuminate. Ultimate segments deeply pinnatifid to 1-pinnate, segment lobes falcate, margins irregularly toothed or rarely deeply lobed. Veins 1-forked.\" In older Cyathea cooperi a tight rosette will form at the top of the trunk (Large, 2005).
According to Deppler (1998), \"Spore are microscopic dust-like particles which are released from the sporangia (spore sacs) when they are ripe. The spores are dispersed by wind and, if they should settle in a shady, constantly moist and warm position, they may germinate. Germination usually takes about three months but in some species it may take many months. Initially at germination a tiny flat, green heart-shaped structure is formed and it is at this stage that fertilisation occurs. Some weeks later, the first tiny fronds will begin to develop and a new plant will begin to grow.\"
The native habitat for Cyathea cooperi is in gullies and rainforests. It can also be found along roadsides and streamcourses above permanent waterline. C. cooperi is somewhat tolerant of dry conditions but is found most in wet sites. These wet sites are usually where there is ground disturbance (Medeiros et al, 1992). This species likes loam, clay loam, and sand soils (Coleman, 1997).
The spores of Cyathea cooperi are dispersed by the wind (Hear, 2006). Cyathea cooperi produces 22-27 fertile fronds per year (Durand and Goldstein, 2001b).
Principal source: Hawaiian Ecosystems At Risk (HEAR). 2006. Cyathea cooperi (Hook. ex F. Muell.) Domin, Cyatheaceae.
Medeiros, A.C., L.L. Loope, T. Flynn, J. Anderson, L.W. Cuddihy, K.A. Wilson. 1992. Notes on the status of the invasive Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi) in Hawaiin rain forests. American Fern Journal. 82(1): 27-33.
Compiler: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Publication date: 2007-08-03
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2016) Species profile: Cyathea cooperi. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1183 on 31-08-2016.