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Platycerium bifurcatum AGM

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Fern or Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Tufted

Resilience

Hardiness

H1b (heated greenhouse - subtropical)

Colour

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Fruit

Dark Brown in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

common staghorn fern

Family

Polypodiaceae


Platycerium are evergreen, epiphytic ferns with short rhizomes, and a tuft of rounded or heart-shaped sterile fronds, sometimes lobed on the upper margin, and erect or pendent, grey-green fertile fronds which are usually repeatedly forked

P. bifurcatum is an evergreen, epiphytic fern with heart-shaped sterile fronds and grey-green, arching, fertile fronds to 90cm in length, forked into strap-shaped segments, bearing brown spore patches beneath the tips

Other common names

  • antelope ears
  • Australian elk's horn fern
  • common stag's horn fern
  • elkhorn fern

Synonym(s)

  • Platycerium alcicorne misapplied

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow epiphytically in equal parts leaf mould, coarse peat, sphagnum moss, loam and charcoal in bright filtered light. When in growth water freely in high humidity and apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly. Water sparingly in winter. Can be grown outdoors epiphytically

Soil

  • Moist but well-drained
  • Neutral
  • Loam

Propagation

Sow spores when ripe or detach plantlets

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Drought Resistant, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean Climate Plants


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Susceptible to scale insects

Diseases

Generally disease free