One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A tree fern found in forests throughout New Zealand.
Cyathea dealbata, family CyatheaceaeAlso called silver fern
- ‘‘They had a singular beauty, outstanding amongst the exotic growth of fern and ponga on the slopes below,’ he once wrote.’
- ‘The walk there and back took us through some beautiful bush with huge silver ferns, beach trees, pungas, pohutakawa, cabbage trees and palms.’
- ‘She came across the Waiwhakaiho Bridge into town so we decorated the factory with ponga fronds and spelt ‘welcome’ in the hedge with hydrangea blooms.’
- ‘Covered in lichen and scrub, missing boards and held together with rusty bolts the rickety structure spans a deep gorge and alights at what is now grassland pocked with ponga and scrub: a farm long abandoned.’
- ‘These command stupidly high prices - a 4ft ponga trunk in good shape, with three to four well-formed fronds, can set you back from £100 up.’
Mid 19th century: from Maori.
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