This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The following description of this beautiful fern is taken from the Gardener's Chronicle of March 24th, 1877 : This fine new garden fern comes to us from Australia. It is no doubt very nearly related to the old Dicksonia davallioides, alias Sitobolium davallioides, now referred to the genus Dennstaedtia, but is much larger in its growth than we have ever seen that plant, of which for practical purposes it may therefore be regarded as a giant form. In its native state it is said to produce fronds seventeen feet in length; and as seen in this country, under pot culture, it has caudices as thick as one's finger, and fronds of seven or eight feet in length. To this stout and vigorous constitution it adds the elegance and gracefulness of minute subdivision, so that its fronds, though large, are utterly devoid of coarseness, and it is, in fact, a remarkably ornamental plant, well adapted for occupying any bold and prominent position in a stove rockery, or even as a pot plant in a collection of stove or greenhouse ferns it will always hold its position. The caudex, as already described, is as stout as one's finger, and of creeping habit, progressing forward somewhat freely, and throwing up its amply spreading fronds at intervals.
The stipes is stout, nearly 1/2 inch in diameter, and of a darkish brown color below, golden-brown above, and quite smooth. The fronds are nearly ovate in outline, and decompound, the pinnae 1 1/2 foot long, the pinnules five to six inches long, lanceolate-acuminate, and the ultimate pinnules, those of the third order, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long; these ultimate pinnules are obliquely oblong, deeply cut into blunt oblong-toothed lobes, of which those at the base of the anterior side are the largest. The sori are small, placed near the base of these ultimate lobes in the sinus of one of the anterior marginal teeth. The fronds are herbaceous in texture. It will thus be seen that this fern, while growing to a large size, is one of the most finely cut of all the large-growing sorts, of herbaceous texture, and when throwing out its boldly arching fronds, from an elevated position on rockwork, or from a large pot set up on a pedestal, it will have a very fine effect. It was unanimously awarded a first-class certificate by the Floral Committee when exhibited at South Kensington, on the 7th inst., and gained a similar award at the Spring show of the Royal Botanic Society on Wednesday last." - B. S. Williams.