Cultivated plant in Lyon Arboretum, Hawaii, USA
Photograph by: Daderot
Sadleria cyatheoides is an evergreen tree fern with rhizomes to 1.5 metres or more and fronds up to 90cm long[
The plant yields a dye, material for thatch, traditional medicinal uses and is also a famine food. A very ornamental plant, often grown in gardens.
Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
Pacific - Hawaii.
Rainforests and exposed sites on lava flows[
]. Most often in open to shady forests at elevations up to 610 metres; occasionally in subalpine scrub[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
The plant can tolerate occasional temperatures down to freezing without any check to its growth[
]. It can probably survive even lower temperatures, but perhaps with a growth check[
Prefers a position in partial shade[
]. Requires an acid soil[
The starchy inner part of the trunk is cooked and eaten in times of famine[
Young leaves - cooked[
The plant has a range of medicinal uses[
The fronds are used as a mulch[
A red dye is obtained from the trunk fibres[
]. It is used for dyeing kapa cloth[
The fronds are used for the final thatching of buildings[
The leafstalks are beaten and used as sizing (with bark) in making kapa cloth[
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