Platycerium bifurcatum

Platycerium bifurcatum, the elkhorn fern or common staghorn fern,[3] is a species of fern native to Java, New Guinea and eastern Australia, in New South Wales, Queensland and on Lord Howe Island. It is a bracket epiphyte occurring in and near rainforests. Growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall by 80 cm (31 in) broad, it has heart-shaped sterile fronds 12–45 cm (5–18 in) long, and arching grey-green fertile fronds which are forked and strap-shaped, and grow up to 90 cm (35 in) long.[3]

Platycerium bifurcatum
Platycerium bifurcatum kz01.jpg
P. bifurcatum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Suborder: Polypodiineae
Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Platycerium
P. bifurcatum
Binomial name
Platycerium bifurcatum

The genus name Platycerium comes from the Greek platys (flat), and ceras (horn), while the specific epithet bifurcatum means bifurcated or forked. Both names are referring to the fertile fronds.[4]

Platycerium bifurcatum is cultivated as an ornamental plant for gardens. With a minimum temperature requirement of 5 °C (41 °F), in temperate regions it may be grown outdoors in sheltered locations, otherwise as a houseplant.[3] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[5][6]

Platycerium bifurcatum sporangia


  1. ^ "Species profile—Platycerium bifurcatum". Environment, land and water. Queensland Government. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Vascular Plants APC - Platycerium bifurcatum". Australian Plant Census (APC). Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  4. ^ "Platycerium bifurcatum - Growing Native Plants". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Australian Government.
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Platycerium bifurcatum". Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 79. Retrieved 2 May 2018.