Scythian Lamb Facts
- The Scythian Lamb presents a rather remarkable appearance to all who see it. As a result of how it appeared to them, ancient peoples believed it actually produced sheep.
- This unusual species also possesses chemical properties which give it legitimate medicinal uses. Consequently, this plant remains a common ingredient in folk medicine even today.
- The Scythian Lamb has a comparatively broad endemic range, yet its numbers continue to decline. This trend appears to be primarily due to its being extensively collected throughout much of its range.
- It should be noted that, despite its low-slung stature, this distinctive species actually belongs to the tree fern family. As remains true of many tree ferns, it also tends to develop in colonies
Scythian Lamb Physical Description
The Scythian Lamb possesses a rather unusual stature for a tree fern. This species only attains an average height of 3.25 ft (1 m) when erect, yet is typically prostrate. The fronds of the fern typically grow to lengths of 10 ft (3 m).
These fronds most commonly have a light green color. Yet the rhizomes of the species garner the most interest from observers. This part of the plant has a covering of numerous long, golden colored hairs resembling sheep’s wool, and commonly grow extremely thickly.
This remarkable evergreen fern grows slowly, and typically in alkali-rich soils.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Class: Polypodiopsida
- Order: Cyatheales
- Family: Dicksoniaceae
- Genus: Cibotium
- Species: C. barometz
Scythian Lamb Distribution and Ecology
The Scythian Lamb possesses a tropical and subtropical distribution. It primarily occurs endemically in China, yet occurs in smaller numbers across much of Asia.
The species also now appears elsewhere, having been introduced to several other regions, usually as an ornamental plant. It most commonly appears in gullies, forests, and on hillsides. It also prefers areas of damp, shady conditions.
Astonishingly, this plant only grows naturally at altitudes of 656-15,146 ft (200-1,500 m).