NZ has the most tall tree fern

Growing up to 20 metres tall, the black tree fern (mamuku) is just as tall as the Norfolk tree fern, which boasts the record of largest tree fern in the world.

The ancient looking trunk of the black tree fern (mamuku) is black and covered with hexagonal scars where fronds have fallen off as it grows taller.

The koru (new shoots) and inside of trunk were baked and eaten by Māori, the pith from young fronds was also used in healing. The palisades of Māori pā (hill forts) were often built from tree ferns, which grow tall and straight.


Beautiful patterns are made where the fronds have detached from the trunk.

The emerging frond of a New Zealand tree fern is called a koru, artists remove the hair to reveal the complex patterns (often killing the frond so you will not see them like this in the wild). The koru is part of the New Zealand identity, it's proudly worn by the flagship airline Air New Zealand.