||【 HIKAGEHEGO 】
( Botanical name: Cyathea lepifera )
The forest of Hikageheo tree ferns is somehow suggestive of the Jurassic period. I wouldn’t be surprised if dinosaurs should strut about there in a lordly manner, like in the film by Steven Spielberg.
The Hikagehego is a tree fern that grows over ten meters tall. Its colossal leaves sort of give a tropical atmosphere, like those of palm trees. It ranges from the Amamian Islands to the Okinawan Islands, Taiwan and the Philippines. I have once seen a pretty similar tree fern in the Blue Mountains National Park not far from Sidney. Possibly, these can be akin to the Hikagehego, but not the same species.
A unique pattern is formed on the Hikagehego trunk after the leafstalks fall off. Gardeners make use of the cut trunks as flowerpots for epiphytic plants like the Otaniwatari (Asplenium antiquum).