Blechnum gibbum

The common names for Blechnum gibbum are the ‘Dwarf tree fern’ or ‘Silver Lady’. The name ‘Silver Lady’ comes from a cultivar that is widely distributed across North America, but ‘Silver Lady’ is now widely misused as a common name to describe the species. web security . The name gibbun has arisen because mature plants develop a small stout trunk. The species can be found growing across the pacific islands including Fiji, Hawaii and New Caledonia.

Blechnum Gibbun growing at Taman Orkid Garden Kuala Lumpur

Blechnum gibbum makes an attractive specimen and can often be found under glass in tropical plant displays across the world. They have bright green dimorphic fronds that can reach up to 60cm (2ft) in length.

A new frond emerging from the crown of a Blechnum Gibbun plant growing at Hong Kong Botanic Gardens

Over time Blechnum gibbum will develop a trunk that can grow to over 1 metre (3ft) in height, but just a few centimetres in diameter.

A close-up of the trunk formed by Blechnum Gibbun growing at Hong Kong Botanic Gardens

Coming from tropical and subtropical conditions this species is not tolerant of any frost. The species is widely circulated as a houseplant. Blechnum gibbum will not tolerate drying out completely but does not want to be overwater so does need careful attention. If overwatered fronds will quickly turn brown and the plant is unlikely to recover without immediate action. To grow this fern outside in warmer climates find a shady spot with relatively high humidity and plant Blechnum gibbum in a good open acid soil that will drain freely.