Cyathea atrovirens (Langsd. & Fisch.) Domin, an intensely exploited tree fern, is found inside forests in several succession stages, as well as in swamps, roadsides and unused fields in the Rio dos Sinos basin, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. This study evaluated the in vitro germination and gametophyte development of C. atrovirens under different pH conditions, as well as spore viability after different storage times at 7 ºC. The lowest germination rate of spores was obtained at pH 7.0. At pH 5.0 to 6.5, laminar gametophyte development started at 20 to 30 days of culture. Antheridia and archegonia were first observed at 35 and 128 days, respectively. Storage at 7 ºC did not affect germination rates. The capability of germination at different pH levels may explain the occurrence of the species in a wide range of habitats. The present study contributes to the understanding of the full life-cycle of C. atrovirens and to the analysis of the influence of abiotic components, providing information for the cultivation, management and conservation of the species.