Stems wide and trunk-like, to 5 m tall, covered with yellow hairs. Fronds to about 2.5 m long, leathery, hairless and waxy blue below. Ultimate segments cut almost to the midrib, the basal ones on each branch with a small 'ear' at the base.
Needs shelter and warmth. The most abundant species of the genus in Hawaii.
Lowermost segments of frond branches 'eared' at the base; lower surface waxy blue. This species has been incorrectly called C. chamissoi Kaulf., Man Fern of Hawaii, which is not waxy blue below.
Cibotium regale from Mexico and C America is waxy white below but with hairs absent on axis and ribs and basal segments not 'eared'; it is occasionally cultivated.
Source: (1995). Dicksoniaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.