My Dearly Beloved likes ferns. We have royal ferns, maidenhair ferns, bird’s nest ferns. Oh, and tree ferns. Lots of tree ferns.
One of these is a particularly splendid specimen that has to live in the conservatory because it’s too delicate to go outside. This is a cyathea cooperi. It has lovely long green fronds which unfurl from tight hairy fists, very slowly, like vegetable ballet.
It has recently produced a new frond, which is in the process of unfolding. Before it started unfolding, however, it grew up. And up. And up, until it was taller than Dearly Beloved.
We looked up cyathea cooperi.
This delicate beastie is in fact a very large fern. The individual mature fronds can be 20 feet long.
20 feet. That’s one leaf. If I stand under it in a gauzy dress I’ll look like something out of an old children’s book illustration.
So once they’ve all unfolded, that’s a circle of about 40 foot width. The conservatory isn’t that big. And it certainly isn’t 49 feet tall, which is, apparently, what cyathea cooperi can grow to.
There’s a reason why they’re called tree ferns.
And there’s another frond unfolding.
If you don’t hear from me again, I’m living on the street because my house has been taken over by a very large plant.