Some of the easiest, most reliable plants in the garden we have a tendency to take for granted. That is true of the Australian Tree Fern (sphaeropteris cooperi) for me. It is the go-to plant I always use for shady circumstances where I want a large, easy plant to fill in space. It will tolerate wet or dry shade and makes a nice understory plant to my tall palms that can lack eye level interest.
I love the lacy foliage and the airy feel that it adds to our 'Palm Alley' in SJC where it tolerates less than ideal conditions planted among the tree roots. They can grow quite large with ideal conditions, but I have a couple in Laguna that have been there 20 years and are still only about six feet tall. They will survive almost near death (as I have witnessed while planted in some neglected pots) and come right back to their former glory in no time. They are a nice solution for difficult spots that are shady and somewhat dry, although they will flourish with regular water.