Dicksonia is a
tree ferns in the
order Cyatheales. It is regarded as related to
Cyathea, but is considered more primitive, dating back at least to the
Cretaceous periods. The fossil record includes stems, pinnules, and
The genus contains 20-25
species, distributed from Mexico to Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, St. Helena, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. New Guinea has the greatest diversity, with five species.
An easily cultivated species of Dicksonia is
D. antarctica, the soft tree fern.
The genus was first described by
Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle in 1788. The name honors
James Dickson, a prominent nurseryman and botanist.