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Norfolk Island Fern

Norfolk Island Fern
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-08
Categories: Trees
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300 XR
Exposure: f/18.0, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Janice's FerNZ [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-08 23:11
Viewed: 4713
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cyathea brownie
(sigh-ATH-ee-uh brownee)
"Norfolk Island Tree Fern"

Now this fern is a newie for me. I’ve NEVER seen these ferns growing before. Yesterday Pam / Coasties and Dawn / Dawn (TL) and I went visiting Auckland’s Botanical Gardens, home to over 10,000 plants from around the world, spread over 64 hectares in Manurewa, South Auckland. A key objective of the Botanic Gardens has been to identify those plants best suited to growing in Auckland conditions. A trial programme was established to enable assessment of ornamental plants and to publish Advisory Leaflets recommending reliable subjects for home gardens.

And as we started wandering in these gardens we came across these ferns, and I knew they weren’t one of our usual NZ ferns. Fortunately it had a ‘name’ and it is a Norfolk Island Tree Fern, Cyathea brownie. The colours of the newly opening fronds and the thickness and colours of and crowns crosiers certainly caught our attention as we wandered through the grounds.

The Norfolk Island Tree Fern is regarded as the largest of all treeferns, but in a cooler climate others can grow bigger. It is a very robust, beautiful species, spectacular in size and appearance. It is not very common in cultivation outside of Australia. The fronds can reach up to 20' long and are held in a most attactive habit, and the trunk, which is quite thick under humid conditions, can in the wild reach an incredible height of 100'! As the fern ages, the trunk appears to look more woody and may also show some taper.


Average daytime temperatures reach around 23 °C during the summer months falling to around 17°C during the winter. The highest temperatures likely to be experienced in this environment are around 29°C, the lowest around 6°C. Relative humidity is fairly consistent at levels between 70 and 80 percent throughout the year. Yearly rainfall is approximately 1200mm.

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lovenature, marjan, liquidsunshine, TAZ, jmp, elefantino, liziafa, ramthakur, thor68, marhowie, scottevers7, wallhalla15, dew77, extramundi, SkyF, firelord, jchemas, pilonm, thistle, PDP, ScottHale has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ScottHale: TamronJanice 1 08-25 17:07
To PDP: ThxJanice 1 07-26 06:17
To Karin: Karl BlossveldtJanice 2 07-10 10:29
To loot: Kia oraJanice 1 07-09 06:48
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Janice
Interesting symmetrical plant growth and textures. Nice POV against the blue sky. I can see why it's called a fern tree. Sharp with lots of detail. TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-07-09 0:24]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Janice
Since this excellent photo and all your previous amazing fern postings gives honour to the beauty of this and many other ferns which we have never seen or heard of before, I decided to join you here to pay homage to these wonderful plants which have decorated and adorned planet earth for such a long, long time.

The Petrified Fern

In a valley, centuries ago,
Grew a little fern-leaf, green and slender,
Veining delicate and fibres tender;
Waving when the wind crept down so low;
Rushes tall, and moss, and grass grew round it,
Playful sunbeams darted in and found it,
Drops of dew stole in by night, and crowned it,
But no foot of man e’er trod that way;
Earth was young and keeping holiday.

Monster fishes swam the silent main,
Stately forests waved their giant branches,
Mountains hurled their snowy avalanches,
Mammoth creatures stalked across the plain;
Nature revelled in grand mysteries;
But the little fern was not of these,
Did not number with the hills and trees,
Only grew and waved its wild sweet way,-
No one came to note it day by day.

Earth, one time, put on a frolic mood,
Heaved the rocks and changed the mighty motion
Of the deep, strong currents of the ocean;
Moved the plain and shook the haughty wood,
Crushed the little fern in soft moist clay,
Covered it, and hid it safe away.
Oh the long, long centuries since that day!
Oh the agony, oh life’s bitter cost,
Since that useless little fern was lost!

Useless! Lost! There came a thoughtful man
Searching Nature’s secrets, far and deep;
From a fissure in a rocky steep
He withdrew a stone, o’er which there ran
Fairy pencillings, a quaint design,
Veinings, leafage, fibres clear and fine,
And the fern’s life lay in every line!
So, I think, God hides some souls away,
Sweetly to surprise us the last day.

A poem by Mary Bolles Branch.

Thanks for showing us these lovely plants as seen through your eyes and lens. This one specifically are a marvellous photo. A great composition with stunning colours, excellent details, a wonderful BG, and the exposure was also spot-on.
Very well done and TFS.

Hi Janice, this is nice photo of jung fern. It is in your stile. Good POV and high qualitdy. TFS

Hi Janice,
Very nice capture. Strong composition with great exposure. Love the detail you have maintained in the BG.

Hi Janice,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. I really like the low POV and BG. Well composed. Great shot Janice.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-07-09 2:54]

Here, I recognise Janice's style ! simple and smart composition in diagonal. Beautiful shape of plant and nice sky behind.
Well seen and well done. Congratulations Janice and TFS.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-09 2:55]

Hi Janice,
Incredible fern! I thought that there was caterpillar in a branch!
I like the geommetry of the new leaves. Vere well composed and lovely sky as bg.
TFS. José M.

Hi Janice, good picture weel composed with great colors.
Interesting note.


Hi Janice.
Nice simple image and it works well.
Good shot regards,

Hi Janice,
Very nice shot.
Very good sharp and colors.
Well done !!!
TFS Malgosia

In addition to the beauty in symmetry that you have captured in this shot, I love the sky as BG, Janice.
I sure am going to give ferns a try this time when I reach home in India.

Hi Janice,
a beautiful plant with nice colours and the good details.
Good composition and POV. The exposure arfe spot on.
Very well done, my friend.

I will never complain about the cold again, it's to hot up here right now;-)) some days +32 and more.

fern curls reaching out for the sky.
what a pretty shot, janice! :-)
your wonderful fern presentations really make me look
at them differently now.
excellent composition and pov with perfect sharpness on
the green fern and the beautiful blue, but slightly dramatic sky in the back.
well seen & captured, thorsten.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-07-09 8:09]

What amazing shapes, really sharp details, lovely colours and a great composition.

It does look like caterpillars

Hi Janice,
I like the comp. and wonderful sky for BG - very nice :) Excellent notes,
Well done and Thank You!

Hi Janice,
Superb composition and framing on this shot. Spot on exposure has brought out all the colors and detail in the enitre scene. This looks great!

  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-07-09 15:40]
  • [+]

Hi Janice, I see that you got more inspiration of K. Blossveldt! Very nice details and composition. Well done!
Did you also try to photograph the top only in macro?

Hello Janice,
this is a typical picture from you. I like it very much. As usual an excellent note too!!
Excellent sharpness, great colours, excellent exposure and POV too. This is an excellent composition. Thank you for posting m.f..

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-07-10 7:04]

Hello Janice,
An artistic fern capture.Sharpness,POV,BG details,large DOF,use of light and especially composition are excellent.

We will have to give you the title of the "Queen of the ferns", you are mastering the way this plants are photographed.
This one is really great, exposure, POV, details... yes, a fine work. TFS.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-10 10:00]

Hello Janice,
beautiful POV, this fern looks great against the blue sky. Lovely sharp details and excellent colors, very nice composition.

Hi Jenice
Great capture with superb colors and excellent details.
Great POV, BG and composition.

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2006-07-13 10:08]

Hello Janice,

Wow! Great picture of that lovely fern! Your picture looks to me as a fantasy drawing with all those forms and surealistic colors! You chose a great pov and did a remarkable composition! You managed also very well the exposure! Great great picture and TFS,


Hello Janice,
I LOVE THIS! Great subject, perfectly placed in a frame and something I always loved - a sky in BG!
Great job on this one!

I love the fern unrolling on a blue backdrop, the exposure really came out nice on this one showing beautiful colors and sharp details. :)

  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-07-26 4:38]
  • [+]

Hi Janice, this is a different slant on things. You've made the fern looks like a giant! Good composition, good detials and colours, well done.

*I've turned off my points, I cannot recieve and I cannot give. I'm sorry for the latter*

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-08-05 6:26]

Hi Janice
Good shot and composition. Great colours, sharpnes, light, details, BG and POV. Also good note.
Well done mf


Hi Janice,

Good composition, very artistic, I like it a lot. Well done.


As a thumbnail I thought this was a centipede or caterpillar! Unbelieveable shapes and textures here. Wonderful composition and colors. How do you like your Tamron lens, is the 28-300 a good choice for landscapes?

Hello Janice!
This time something from your archive ;)
Very nice and interesting composition (even if it is rather simple - but because of that -the best! ;>)
I like the POV and DOF, also the contrast is ok.
Summarizing, very good idea for interesting picture! :)
Best greetings,

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