A Soft Tree Fern in Milarri Garden, showing the tightly-curled new fronds emerging from the crown of the plant.
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria
Kombadi (Woi wurrung), Garak (Gunaikurnai)
Botanical name: Dicksonia antarctica
In Victoria, people ate the starchy pith from the top part of the stem. They split the stem and scooped out part of the pith, an operation that does not kill the fern.
Both Rough and Soft Tree Fern can be eaten, although Soft Tree Fern tastes better.
Soft Tree Fern is endemic to Australia and grows in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and south-eastern Queensland. It thrives in moist areas, predominantly in wet sclerophyll forest and along creeks.
In cultivation this tree fern grows best in filtered light on loose well-drained soils with abundant water.