• WordNet 3.6
    • n Cyathea type genus of the Cyatheaceae: tree ferns of the tropical rain forest to temperate woodlands
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cyathea A genus of arborescent ferns, order Polypodiaceæ. It is characterized by having the spores, which are borne on the back of the frond, inclosed in a cup-shaped indusium. There are many species scattered over the tropical regions of the world. Some have short stems, but in others they reach a height of 40 or 50 feet. The stems are crowned with a beautiful head of large fronds. C. medullaris, a fine bipinnated or tripinnated species of New Zealand and the Pacific islands, and known in gardens as a noble tree-fern of comparatively hardy character, furnishes in its native country a common article of food. The part eaten is the soft, pulpy, medullary substance which occupies the center of the trunk, and which has some resemblance to sago. Several species are cultivated in greenhouses for decorative purposes.
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In literature:

The most striking plants are the tree-ferns (Cyathea excelsa and C. bourbonica) some of which attain a height of from fifteen to twenty feet.
"Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1." by John MacGillivray
Bucklandia Crawfurdii, Begoniae, some Viburnia, Cyathea, etc.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith