Dicksonia squarrosa is a tree fern with a slender trunk covered with the black bases of frond stalks, which can grow to 23 ft (7 m). The fronds are pinnate 5–10 ft (1.5–3 m) long, leathery, and dark green above.
Dicksonia squarrosa is a subcanopy plant found in coast to montane forests of North Island, South Island, Stewart Island and Chatham Islands, New Zealand. It will often regenerate rapidly after bush is cleared. In the UK it is regarded as less hardy than Dicksonia antarctica, which is the most commonly grown tree fern.