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Platycerium superbum (Staghorn fern)

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Helpful articles

Native Annuals and Perennials. Australian annual and perennial plants can be used to create excitement in your garden as they are quick growing, usually very floriferous and because they are relatively temporary they can be replaced on a regular basis to add something new each year.

Best Australian natives for pots & small gardens. The trend towards smaller gardens has inspired the plant lovers in the nursery industry to respond with an ever-increasing range of Australian plants that will delight those who want to attract birds and butterflies and bring a little bit of the bush onto their balconies. From banksias to bottlebrush there are plants that will add colour and texture to provide year round interest.

Choosing a landscaper. Top tips for choosing the best landscaping company for your home or business.

Selecting plants for your garden. This article describes how you can best select plants for your garden.

Plant description

platycerium superbum staghorn fern

The staghorn fern, or Platycerium superbum, is an epiphytic large fern that grows well in sub-tropical to tropical areas, and in sheltered spots in temperate areas. The fern is native to rainforest areas of northern NSW and Queensland, where it grows on trees or sometimes on rocks. The fern resembles a collection of antlers (hence the name), that grow from a central crown or nest of fronds. This crown collects leaf litter and dead insects, which feed the plant. The antler fronds can grow to 2 metres in length.

In the garden, the fern can be attached to a board or similar, which can then be attached to trees, walls or fences. It can also be attached directly to a tree host. The fern is epiphytic, and not parasitic. As the fern grows, it can be fed by placing organic matter, such as banana skins and tea leaves, etc, into the top crown of the fern. Staghorns like moderate humidity, good air circulation and bright light.

Propagation is only from spores, as this fern, unlike other Platyceriums, does not make offsets or pups. The spores are brown felty masses on the underside of mature fronds. A section of frond with ripe spores is placed into a paper bag. The spores will shed, and can then be sown onto sterilised damp coir and kept under glass to grow.

Further reading: Top ten native plants and Best natives for pots and small gardens (articles written by native plant expert and horticulturalist Angus Stewart).

Additional plant information

Flowers

Flower colour: not specified
Flowering season: not specified

Plant size

Maximum height: 1 metres
Minimum height: not specified

Maximum width: 1 metres
Minimum width: not specified

Sunlight, frost & salt tolerance

Will tolerate partial sunlight.
Light frost tolerance.
Plant is not salt tolerant.

Fauna attracting?

Not specified.

Climate

This plant species will grow in the following climates: temperate, subtropical, tropical.

Soil types & conditions

Loam: not specified.

Clay: not specified.

Sand: not specified.

Miscellaneous information

Native to: Australia.

Planting season: not specified.

Types of fertiliser: not specified.

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