Real World Gardener Staghorn Fern is Plant of the Week

January 15th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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PLANT OF THE WEEK

Staghorn Fern Platycerium superbum

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Staghorn Fern

They make a nice plant for your balcony, verandah or just somewhere perhaps on a tree in the garden and are very easy to care for. 
They can be grown year-round outdoors in areas protected from frost and freezing. In their natural habitat they can be seen growing high up in the crowns of trees.

Staghorn ferns are native to tropical central Africa including Madagascar, southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and Australia. 
One species is native to the Andes mountains of Peru.

Platycerium superbum has greyish green fronds that lay flat over the root system which is attached to a support.

This fern has two distinct leaf forms.

Flattened sterile shield fronds protect the anchoring root structure and take up water and nutrients. This ‘nest’ frond is designed to collect falling leaves and insects and funnels it to the feeding roots.

This is the place gardeners usually throw in banana peels for the same reason.

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Platycerium superbum

These give the fern a valuable source of potassium and calcium, nutrients required for the production of their large fronds.

It's from this frond that the fern attaches itself to the host tree.

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