The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Ferns.

Platycerium bifurcatum Common name(s): Staghorn Fern, Elkhorn Fern Platycerium superbum (Platycerium grande)
Platycerium Family - Polypodiaceae. Genus of about 15 species of evergreen, epiphytic ferns, with short-creeping rhizomes. Most are found in temperate and tropical rainforest in Africa, Asia and Australia; one occurs in South America. The Staghorn and Elkhorn Ferns bear large and spectagular fronds, usually divided at their ends into antler-like lobes. Staghorn Fern is one of the more unusual and challenging house plants. The most unfern-like of all ferns. Many of their leaves resemble the antlers of an Alaskan moose. There are about 18 species that grow in tropical Africa, Australia and South America. It grows without its roots in soil and produces 2 types of fronds. The barren fronds appear as round discs that fasten closely to the tree trunk or support on which the fern is growing. The fertile, or spore-bearing, fronds hang down and look like antlers. The sterile or barren fronds are brown and they serve to fasten the plant to the bark of trees or to horticultural cork or boards and moss. These fronds collect organic matter and water for growth and the antler-type fronds bear spores. Platycerium
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth. Ideal temperatures are between 60 and 80 F. Good indirect light is the proper location - an east- or north-facing windowsill is ideal. Compost must be kept moist at all times and never allowd to dry out. Misting is necessary. Propagation is by plantlets produced at the base of the plant. Sow spores at situ in autumn or spring.

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