Platycerium bifurcatum 

(plat-ee-cir' ee-um bii-fur-caa' tum)

Common name: Staghorn Fern

Family: Polypodiaceae, Polypody

Height x width: 3' x 3'

Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: erect to horizontal, rounded to heart or kidney shaped sterile fronds green turning brown; gray-green fertile fronds to 3', often spreading and usually pendent, forked 2 or 3 times in strap-like fuzzy hairy segments

Sori: in large brown patches on undersides, usually near tips

Light: bright

Temperature: average to warm

Watering: moderate with lukewarm water, water biweekly by soaking slab in tepid water at least 15 minutes

Fertility: moderate

Humidity: highly humid, indirect

Soil: none, epiphytic, attach to a slab of rough wood or fiber

Pests and Problems: scale insects (often common);

Growth habit, uses: hanging on vertical surfaces, exotic

Other interest: name from Greek platys meaning broadand keras meaning horn, refering to the frond shape; native to southern and eastern Australia and Java

Other culture: keep watered frequently, without soil roots attached to slab have little access to water; can mist frequently, but indirect humidity such as from a humidifier has less chance to spot leaves; never remove brown basal leaves forming shield (purpose is to hold water); older plants may be grown in pots in an epiphytic mix

Propagation: removal of offsets, spores seldom sprout

Related species:

Of the 18 or so species, the above and the following are most common.

grande (gran' daa)--fertile fronds wedge shaped, 4-6' long

Cultivars: Several are available but not common, having various shaped fertile fronds.

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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