By John C. Kricher
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Extra resources for A field guide to California and Pacific Northwest forests
The seed tray may then be placed in a sealed plastic bag, with wire loops attached to hold the bag away from the surface of the mixture. At this stage, a dark period of about 2 weeks may assist spore germination in some species. The tray can then be placed into a medium-temperature, low- to medium-light environment (not direct sunlight) until germination and gametophyte development Chapter 2 Cultivation and Propagation 41 have occurred. A shade house, such as that used for the cultivation of orchids, a shaded glasshouse, or even a window ledge can provide suitable cultivation requirements.
High-temperature damage results in symptoms similar to those resulting from low temperatures and are not easy to distinguish from them. High temperatures may also cause wilting and scorching. Provide shade at the hottest time of the day, and if a glasshouse is used for cultivation, increase the humidity (for example, by spraying the floor and roof with water). Some tree ferns are able to withstand extreme events, including fire that can cause the loss of an entire head of fronds. The plant may be left as a blackened stump, but if the fire has been fast and not too hot, these plants may be capable of using stored reserves to make a full recovery.
All Cyatheaceae have scales instead of hairs, the latter characterizing members of Dicksoniaceae. Fronds of Cyatheaceae are among the largest leaves in the plant kingdom, with those of some species reaching 3–4 m in length and a final crown width of some 6 m. Sori occur away from the mar- Chapter 3 The Tree Ferns 53 gins of the pinnules and take the form of elongate or rounded receptacles. The sorus is often enclosed by a thin indusium. Spores are rounded-triangular (trilete). Fossils attributed to the Cyatheaceae appear for the first time in late Jurassic to early Cretaceous sediments.