|Staghorn fern at North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Australia|
de Jonch. & Hennipman
The fern is native to north-east New South Wales (north of Nabiac) and Queensland. It can also be found in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. In propagated form, the plant is grown successfully as far south as Victoria.
In both naturally occurring and propagated forms, these ferns develop a humus-collecting "nest" of non-fertile fronds and in doing so can grown up to 1 metre wide. The ferns also develop hanging fertile fronds that can reach up to 2 metres long.
In the wild, the nest structure captures falling leaves and other detritus which then decomposes to provide the plant with nutrients. The ferns are known to favour a slightly acidic environment and so to encourage growth in propagated plants, some growers recommend adding used tea leaves directly to the plant's "nest". Others recommend doing the same with banana peel.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Platycerium superbum.|
- Platycerium superbum de Jonch. & Hennipman by Peter G. Wilson (National Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney)
- Platycerium superbum (Australian Native Plants Society)
- Platycerium superbum by Pippa Lloyd (Australian National Botanic Gardens, 2006)
- Fern Ecology by Klaus Mehltreter, Lawrence R. Walker & Joanne M. Sharpe (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
- Pat Welsh's Southern California Organic Gardening (3rd Edition): Month by Month by Pat Welsh (Chronicle Books, 2009)