The Elkhorn fern is an epiphyte, growing on the trunks and branches of trees. Each plant is composed of a mass of plantlets. A plantlet consists of a nest leaf 12-30 cm wide, lying against the bark of the host tree. The nest leaves of neighbouring plantlets overlap one another. The nest leaves become brown and papery with age, and do not produce spores. Fertile fronds 25-90 cm long protrude from each plantlet. Each frond divides into two segments a number of times along its length. Spores are produced on the undersurface of the end segments of each frond. The spore producing areas are coloured tan brown, and have the texture of velvet cloth.
Staghorn ferns are grown on a moisture retentive medium such as tree bark, osmunda fern root or sphagnum moss, usually in hanging containers or mounted on wall planters. The roots of staghorn ferns are for attachment only. They get their water and nutrients from the air. The fronds of staghorn ferns are covered with tiny grayish scales that may look like dust; these serve to limit evaporation - do not rub them off.
Common name: Common Staghorn
This species name comes from the word bifurcate which means to divide or fork. It describes the branching shape of the fertile fronds. P.bifurcatumhas generally narrow fertile fronds, upright with the ends hanging down. The shields are usually tan to brown during the spring and summer. New green shields form during the late summer and fall. Fertile fronds remain green and form most of the year. Each fertile frond lives two to three years.
The distribution of P. bifurcatumin country-region Australia, mostly below the Tropic of Capricorn (broken line).
Platycerium bifurcatumforms pups easily. Giant baskets or balls of it are sold by nurseries in localities where they can be kept outside. The solution often is to keep only one or two large individual specimens of each desirable cultivar and limit their pup formation by removing the new buds.
In these single mountings, as the rhizome elongates and the shields pile up, the bud will gradually move forward to where the entire plant is in danger of corning loose and falling to the ground. To prevent this crash it will be necessary every few years to remove the plant, trim back the shield frond mass, and attach it again with the bud moved back closer to the mounting.
This species is called P.bifurcatumspp. bifurcatumvar. bifurcatumby Hennipman and Roos.
Platycerium bifurcatum, the Elkhorn fern, occurs naturally in New Guinea, and along the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales. It is cultivated in many countries, It belongs in the family Polypodiaceae, which has 10 genera and 26 species in Australia.
Photosynthesis takes place in the green fronds just like any ordinary plant leaf. But the overlapping brown fronds near the base of the staghorn fern serve to trap falling debris such as dead insects and pieces of plant material; this is where the fern gets its minerals and other nutrients that most plants would get through their roots from the soil.
Light: Staghorn ferns do best in bright light, but not direct sun. If only artificial light is available, they should have at least 400 foot-candles.
Moisture: The entire staghorn fern and the organic material to which it is attached should be dunked once a week in a dilute solution of fertilizer and rainwater. Staghorns thrive when the fronds are misted daily, but they can do without, even in a centrally heated room. Rainwater is best, but soft water can be used.
Hardiness: Staghorn ferns do best with daytime temperatures in the 70's and night temperatures in the 50's. P. bifurcatum can tolerate light frosts and has been known to survive temperatures as low as 24 F. Propagation: For those species of Platycerium that grow in clumps, you can start new plants from the small "pups" that grow among the fronds at the base of the plant.
Platycerium bifurcatum is easily propagated by division or by spores. The ripe spores can be collected on a piece of paper placed under spore-bearing leaves. Spores germinate best at a temperature of 68-70 degrees. The growing medium should be kept constantly moist and covered with glass or plastic.
P. "Diversifolium" (P.bifurcatum x P.hillii) มี 2 แบบ ใบแฉกลึก กับใบแฉกตื้น
P. "Diversifolium" แบบ ใบแฉกตื้น
P. "Diversifolium" แบบ ใบแฉกลึก
P. "Cass Ropa"
P. "Blue Boy"
P. "Robert" ใบสร้างสปอร์หนาเป็นพิเศษ สีเขียวอมเทา ขอบใบสร้าง สปอร์หยักเป็นแฉกแต่ร่องลึกกว่า P. "Majus"
P. "Paul Webber"
P. "San Diego" ใบที่สร้างสปอร์แตกเป็นแฉก โดยแต่ละแฉกยาวเรียว
P. "Mickey's Rainbow"
P. "La Reunoin"
p. "Mauna Loa"
p. "Netherland" เป็นฟอร์มที่มีใบโค้งงอแต่สั้น ขอบใบหยักเป็นแฉกลึกแคบ และมักห้อยลง
P. "Majus" ลักษณะเด่นคือ ใบที่สร้างอับสปอร์ตั้งตรง และแตกกิ่งเป็นแฉก ปลายแฉกห้อยย้อยลง