Cyathea dealbata



Kaponga, also known as the silver fern, is a tree fern species native to New Zealand. It typically grows up to 4-8 meters in height, with a distinctive trunk covered in rough, fibrous scales. The fronds are large, feathery, and arching.


Kaponga is found in various habitats throughout New Zealand, including forests, wetlands, and shady areas. It prefers moist and shaded environments.

Cultural Importance

Kaponga has cultural significance to Māori. The fronds were traditionally used for thatching and making baskets and mats. The tree fern also holds spiritual associations.

Ecological Role

Kaponga provides a habitat for native birds, insects, and other creatures. It contributes to the structural diversity and aesthetics of native forests and helps regulate moisture levels in the ecosystem.

Associated Birds

Kākā: Kākā are attracted to Kaponga trees for their potential as a food source. Kaponga trees produce small, fleshy fruit that can provide sustenance for these parrots. Kākā are known to have a varied diet that includes fruits, nectar, flowers, and insects.

Kākāriki: Kaponga trees attract Kākāriki due to their propensity to feed on various plant materials. These parakeets are known to consume berries, seeds, fruits, and flowers, which might be available in or around Kaponga trees.

Tūī: Tūī are attracted to Kaponga trees primarily for their nectar. These birds have specialised tongues and beaks that allow them to extract nectar from flowers. Kaponga trees provide a nectar source during their flowering season.

Fantail: Kaponga trees attract Fantails due to their potential as insect-rich environments. The dense foliage of Kaponga trees provides a suitable habitat for insects, which Fantails feed on while flitting through the foliage.

Kererū: Kererū could be attracted to Kaponga trees because of their fruit. These pigeons are known to feed on various fruits, and Kaponga trees' fruit could have been a valuable food resource for them.

Morepork: Kaponga trees attract morepork due to the potential presence of prey. These owls are nocturnal predators that feed on insects, small mammals, and birds. The insects drawn to Kaponga trees could attract Ruru for hunting.

Conservation Status

 Kaponga is not currently listed as a threatened species. However, local populations can be affected by habitat loss and disturbance.

Interesting Facts

  • Kaponga is one of the most common and widespread tree fern species in New Zealand.
  • The trunk of Kaponga is covered in scales that protect the growing tip, known as the koru.

Conservation Tips

To support the conservation of Kaponga and other native fern species, you can avoid removing mature specimens unless necessary, participate in local habitat restoration projects, and promote the protection of native forests.