Todea superba is one of the most beautiful of all Ferns, and worth a place in the most select collection. A well-grown plant will be from 2 to 3 feet in diameter; and when this result is attained, and the fresh green semi-pellucid fronds droop gracefully on all sides, it is an object of great beauty.

Many persons have failed in the cultivation of this plant by attempting to grow it in too high a temperature; but when grown in a cool fernery, and plentifully supplied with moisture both in the atmosphere and at its roots, it will be found to succeed well, and its fronds will not only be stouter and broader, but also of a better colour, than those grown in a hot stove. The plant is a native of New Zealand, and has been imported in considerable quantities, some of the trunks being from 1 foot to 18 inches high, and from 6 to 9 inches in diameter. These throw up fine heads of their feathery plumes if properly treated, and eventually make splendid specimens. Todea superba is grown in quantity by P. N. Eraser, Esq., Edinburgh, and also by Provost Russel, Mayfield, Falkirk, the latter gentleman having some fine specimens in the best possible condition.

In cool ferneries this plant will grow remarkably well, planted out in a moist situation, and soon forms a conspicuous object; or they may be successfully cultivated in a glass case specially contrived for them. When placed in a suitable position, this plant grows rapidly; and I have found them grow best in a compost of peat, living Sphagnum moss, and coarse river-sand, taking particular care that the pot is thoroughly well drained. The plant under discussion, like many others, is partial to an abundant supply of moisture overhead and at its roots; but it will speedily show signs of weakness if the compost turns sour through bad drainage or a superabundance of stagnant moisture. When grown in pots in a case, provision should be made for plunging the pots, common sand being a good material for this purpose. The surface may be planted with Selaginella after the plants are arranged, or a layer of living Sphagnum may be spread between the pots, which will not only add to the neatness of the whole, but also greatly assist in maintaining an equable state of heat and moisture at their roots - a very important point in the culture of these delicate plants.

The plant is freely propagated from spores, which are borne in profusion by well-established specimens; and I have now several dozens of nice little plants pricked out, that have come up promiscuously on the pot-tops.

Todea Pellucida

Todea Pellucida is another nice feathery species of this genus, that does well treated like the preceding. Its fronds are longer, and not so finely cut; but good healthy plants are very ornamental, either grown in cases or bell-glasses. Planted out in cool ferneries in the natural style, it soon makes itself at home.

Todea Wilkesiana

Todea Wilkesiana may be considered one of the rarest, and at the same time one of the daintiest, of Tree-ferns. It has a caudex varying in height from 1 to 2 feet, and fronds something resembling those of the last-mentioned species. It grows well in a glass case in the tropical fernery, but is not yet in general cultivation. Messrs Veitch & Sons, Chelsea, have a fine specimen of this beautiful species in their collection.

Todea (Africana) Barbara

This is very distinct in its appearance, when compared with the semi-pellucid delicacy of the preceding species. It has a large irregular trunk or caudex, and fine imported specimens weigh from 10 to 20 cwt. each. The noble specimen in the large temperate conservatory or winter-garden at Kew weighed 15 cwt. and is one of the finest specimens in this country.

The black massive caudex bears numerous crowns of leathery fronds which are decidedly opaque, and vary in length from 2 to 6 feet. Good specimen plants form noble objects for the natural fernery or conservatory. It has a robust constitution, when compared with those of its diaphanous congeners. Imported trunks root freely in a compost of neat fibrous loam and sandstone. When thoroughly established it requires but little attention, while its distinctive appearance cannot well be supplied by any other plant in cultivation, up to the present time.

F. W. B.