- History and Culture
Cyathea borbonica var. sevathiana is a tree fern that grows up to 1 meter high and its trunk is 6-9 cm in diameter, with a blackish, scaly surface, bases of persistent petioles to the base of the trunk. Leaf scars showing three cavities on the lower edge. Funnel-shaped crown, petioles and stiff rachis. Leafy limbs, with a pale green abaxial face, while the adaxial face is shiny dark green. Scales and down at the base of the petiole, dull brown to shiny, with light brown margin.
Endemic to Mauritius, its main population is in the Bel Ombre forest, but it is also found in humid forests. It usually grows along rivers and in wet, swampy areas.
It is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List and protected under the forest restoration project. This fern has not benefited from any propagation action. Its population is at risk due to habitat loss and the invasion of exotic species.
The name of this variety, sevathiana, was chosen in honour of Jean Claude Sevathian, a botanist in the service of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (2006), who effectively guided the field work in Mauritius during the revision of the tree fern species
Janssen, Thomas, and France Rakotondrainibe
Article/Chapter Title: A revision of the fern family Cyatheaceae in the Mascarene Islands Adansonia, ser. 3, vol. 28, no. 2, 213-241, 2006