There are approximately a thousand different species of fern tree (or tree fern). Of these, at least a hundred different types of tree fern (or fern tree) were represented in the area now called Ferntree Gully when European settlers first arrived there. These were known to the members of the Wurundjeri tribe who lived in the area, and many of them (and the subtle distinctions between them) were pointed out to early explorers of the region.
Even in the 1880s, not an era well known for its care of natural environments, the sheer specialness of Ferntree Gully was recognised, and a large tract of land was set aside as a nature reserve to preserve the unique fern trees (or tree ferns) of the area – parts of which are actually located in neighbouring suburbs, at least according to modern day boundaries. Ferny Creek is the watercourse that flows through the actual gully that gives the area its name, although most of modern Ferntree Gully is located in other, neighbouring valleys.
And just to make a clean sweep of the name’s inaccuracy, aside from the areas that form part of the Dandenong Ranges National Park, tree ferns (or fern trees) are now quite rare in the area.
Suburbs near Ferntree Gully: