Platycerium grande (Staghorn Fern)
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STAGHORN FERN FACTS
Map is from The Atlas of Living Australia web site, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License
The Staghorn fern is an epiphytic (a fern that grows on the branches of tree canopies or on fallen logs). Staghorn ferns develop deeply lobed sterile leaves, and basket shaped nest leaves that catch falling debris. Then nest leaves are green and very hairy when young, and grow tightly against the host. As the plant matures, the fertile antler fronds start to grow. The "antlers" are the true leaves of the fern. These hang downwards and are narrow and forked from less than half way down the leaf stem. The antler-like fronds have spores in a large mass at the base of the first fork, and these become brown and fluffy when mature. Antler fronds hang to a length of up to two metres. The old, dead fronds remain on the plant and help to fix the plant to its support and catch fallen leaves. They create their own compost from material caught in the fronds.
fronds to 2m long
grows on both trees and rocks, usually in rainforest
Queensland, northern New South Wales
|Common Name:||Staghorn Fern|
Relatives in same Genus