- any of various ferns, mostly tropical and chiefly of the family Cyatheaceae, that attain the size of trees, sending up a straight trunklike stem with foliage at the summit.
Origin of tree fern
First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tree fern
The larva feeds on Cyathea dealbata (tree-fern) in September.New Zealand Moths and Butterflies
G. V. Hudson
It may be the same day as that of the Tree-fern, or one as remote as you please from it, before or after.Omphalos
Philip Henry Gosse
A Tree-Fern, Dicksonia arborescens, with a young one near its base.The Elements of Botany
We had one tree-fern that rose from the centre of a rockery, and spread itself over it like a handsome umbrella.Thirty Years in Australia
Acrogen, ak′ro-jen, n. a plant that grows at the top chiefly, as a tree-fern.
- any of numerous large tropical ferns, mainly of the family Cyatheaceae, having a trunklike stem bearing fronds at the top