The mamaku, Cyathea medullaris, is one of New Zealand’s best-known tree ferns, distinguished by a trunk that’s often so dark as to appear black. With regard to all the tree ferns, it’s common to see dying and dead fronds hanging downwards, as in this February 8th view from within the bush on Tiritiri Matangi Island off the tip of the Whangaparaoa* Peninsula north of Auckland.
And here’s a closer look at a mamaku from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens on February 14th:
* In words of Māori origin, wh is pronounced f.
© 2015 Steven Schwartzman