This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Recently a huge stump-fern, Todea, writes Baron Von Mueller, was, brought away from its seclusion in the Dande-nong Ranges, near Port Philip. "After the removal of its hundreds of fronds, the stump-like trunk weighed 2,900 pounds. It required to be dragged by a train of oxen out of its recess, where it may have grown for more than a century to accumulate the substance of its massive stem. This monster fern is to be placed in the conservatory of Melbourne where the mycologist, Rev. Heinrich Tode, so long labored for the Church and for science also, and where his mortal remains are buried. A brisk trade in large Todeas ought to arise, as the marvelous specimen at Kew must have attracted the attention of professional and amateur horticulturists for many years after its removal thence from the Melbourne Botanic Garden. Giant Todeas may be obtained from South Australia (Mount Lofty Ranges), various places in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and Queensland, but specimens weighing over half a ton (without fronds) are rare. This colossal fern has also the recommendation of bearing a considerable amount of frost, so that in temperatures like that of Arran it could be grown in the open air.
In South Africa it seems never to attain to the enormous weight of extra large Australian specimens".
[Todeas are often seen in America collections of exotic ferns, usually kept always under glass cases, as it seems impossible for them to thrive anywhere but in a close and damp atmosphere. In such glass cases however, they thrive amazingly, and those who have them usually feel that they have something to be proud of when they exhibit them to admiring friends. - Ed. G. M].