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Products > Platycerium bifircatum
Platycerium bifircatum - Staghorn Fern

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Fern
Family: Polypodiaceae (Common Ferns)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: NA
Bloomtime: Not Significant
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Platycerium bifircatum (Staghorn Fern) - This is an epiphytic fern that will develop into a massive 6 foot diameter ball of brown sterile leaves with the fertile leaves radiating from it. The flat oval sterile leaves serve as a collecting place for organic matter and support the plant while the fertile leaves radiate outwards and are 2 to 3 feet long, deeply lobed (bifurcated) and resemble deer antlers. It can grow in nearly full day sun but looks best in part day sun to light shade. Water regularly (~ every 1-2 weeks) during dry months. Hardy to short duration temperatures to about 23 degrees F. Nursery plants are often placed on a board with attached moss but can be grown easily in the crotch of a tree or any location where organic matter can accumulate. Native to New Guinea, and along the coasts of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'platys' meaning "flat" and 'ceras' meaning "a horn" in reference to the shape of the fronds. The specific epithet means to fork into two branches referring to the fertile fronds. In Australia it is called Elkhorn Fern. This species was awarded the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993. An amazing large specimen plant hangs from a branch of the large Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) behind our accounting office.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Platycerium bifircatum.