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Elmore Ferns Growing
Instant Platycerium Collection, 4 different species
You are offerding on a collection of 4 different staghorn species: Platycerium Superbum cv. Weitz, P. Hillii, P. Willinckii cv. Pygmaem, and P. Cass! This is truly a unique, wonderful starter pack of easily grown ferns. You are offerding on plants of similar size and quality to the ones in the two pictures immediately below this paragraph. They are a very nice size to go ahead and mount them on wood. Please read on for more information of these remarkable staghorn ferns and click the banner above to go to my website elmoreferns . com for more great fern deals and growing information.
Superbum cv. Weitz
Platycerium Superbum is native to Australia.
Superbum was originally called Grande along with the Phillipine species that currently occupies this name. The primary difference between the Australian Superbum and the Phillipine Grande is that Superbum has one large spore patch on each fertile frond while Grande has two. Also, Grande does not have any stellate hairs while the most frequently encountered Superbum variety, Weitz, in densely covered in hairs (more on that later).
While young Platycerium Superbum will only have shield fronds. At this point the plant will just appear as little round discs. Once superbum reaches 3-5 years of age and about 8 inches in diameter the shield fronds will begin to curl up and develop “fingers” on the top half. This is a good time to mount your Superbum onto wood, preferably western cedar, cork, or Cyprus. Once mounted the lower portion of the shield will grow tightly to the wood (or tree in nature) wrapping up its root ball and holding in moisture. The top of the shield will continue to develop longer fingers and protrude forward and outward in order to collect rainfall. The top portion will also collect falling debris in the forest which will act as a mulch. The shields of Superbum are mostly smooth, but have very thick veins running throughout. The shield of P. Superbum can grow to over 6 feet wide at the top.
Generally it takes a very long time for Superbum to start growing fertile fronds, around 10 or more years. The fertile fronds of P. Superbum can grow quite long and wide. Each fertile frond will have one main branching where it splits into two branches, this is where the large single spore patch is found, the frond then continues to split a couple more times into much smaller branches. Superbum will produce fertile fronds starting in late spring and continuing through mid summer. The spores of Superbum become ripe and begin falling off in the late fall.
Superbum belongs to the class of Platyceriums that only reproduce by spore. These will not send out pups from their rhizomes. Generally the species of Platycerium that do not pup are called Elkhorn ferns rather than staghorn ferns. These varieties of staghorn are rare to see in collections since it can take over 10 years to grow an adult specimen from spore. The Platyceriums that fall into this category are Superbum, Holttumii, Wandae, and Grande.
The true form of Superbum does not have stellate hairs. The Weitz variety of Superbum does produce a dense layer of stellate hairs. This variety was first discovered in a collection by the name of Weitz in Southern California. Weitz was good friends with other well known collectors who also have platycerium cultivars named after them such as Talnage and Ziesenhenne. This form of Superbum with stellate hairs making it look white became preferred over the true species. This is the variety that Elmore Ferns has available for purchase.
Platycerium Superbum will continue to grow throughout the year only growing much slower in the winter months (depending on your location). This is unusual as most Platyceriums go into a dormant stage during the colder months. The most important requirement of P. Superbum is that it needs a period to dry back in between waterings. This is especially true during the winter months, unless you live in the tropics. Superbum is very succeptable to root rot and so, over watering is its most common cultivating pitfall. When Superbum is overwatered the newest shield fronds will begin to turn brown around the tips and eventually stop growing.
Superbum prefers temperatures of around 40 to 60 degrees, but it is a very temperature-tollerant species. My Superbums can take temperatures of 30 to 90 degrees without any ill effects. I have even heard of people’s specimens tolerating temperatures as low as 25 degrees with some overhead protection.
Platycerium Superbum does not require as much humidity as some species with around 40% being adequate. My Superbums are generally kept in conditions with the humidity ranging from 20 to 95% and they do quite well. One must remember, however, that in more humid environments it will take a longer drying back period in between waterings. This is also true for colder weather. During the winter months (in my greenhouses in Tennessee) I water my potted Superbums every other week.
Like all Platycerium, Superbum requires good air movement like that of a slight breeze.
Given the right conditions, namely watering correctly, Platycerium Superbum can be an easy staghorn to grow. It is a tough plant with regards to temperature and humidity and can be quite forgiving.
Australia & Papua New Guinea
Platycerium Hillii primarily resides in Papua New Guinea, but can rarely be found in Australia. Most of its habitat is unexplored by man. It consists of dense tropical jungles that are rather treacherous to venture into. Most of the Hillii found in collections are the various cultivars with the true species being quite rare. In my opinion none of the culitvars or hybrids of Hillii compare to the true species. Elmore ferns only offers the true species.
In its early stages of life Hillii will only have immature fertile fronds (no spore patches). Later as the fern matures it will begin to produce the shield fronds. The shields of P. Hillii are very rounded with nearly no fingers or indentations. Both the top and bottom portions of the shield will lay tightly around the rood mass and host plant. By laying tightly on both top and bottom Hillii can retain a lot of moisture while also making it difficult for new rainfall to get to its roots. Like most Platycerium the shield fronds will start out green and quickly turn to a brown color, but Hillii's shields will turn brown much quicker than most staghorns. The shield fronds of Hillii will stay fairly small reaching a maximum diameter of around 18 inches for a single plant. A plant with many pups, however, can have a much further reaching shield mass.
The fertile fronds of P. Hillii are particularly pleasing. They grow to be nearly 3 feet in length and very wide. The fertile fronds will start out at the growing in a very thin cylindrical fashion and quickly grow out very wide and end in thick fingers. The spore patches are located under each one of these fingers. Both the shield and fertile fronds will be covered in a light layer of stellate hairs.
Hillii belongs to the variety of Platycerium that reproduce both through spores and by pupping. Generally these are reffered to as staghorn ferns while the nonpupping varieties are Elkhorns. Nearly all the Hillii availably at Elmore Ferns were grown from spore.
Platycerium Hillii is one of the easier staghorns to cultivate. Hillii requires plenty of water from early spring to mid fall but still needs to dry back somewhat in between waterings. During the winter Hillii, like all Platyceriums, needs to be kept a little drier and allowed to dry back longer.
Platycerium Hillii is a forgiving species in terms of temperature and humidity. It prefers temperatures ranging from 60 to 75 degrees, but can go as low as 40 and as high as 95 degrees with little reprocussion. The humidity is best kept high, around 40-60%, but your Hillii will still be happy above or below that range. Good air movement like that of a slight breeze will certaintly help P. Hillii grow to its full potential. Hillii prefers filtered sunlight of around 30-50%.
Given the right conditions, namely watering correctly, Platycerium Hillii is a rather easy staghorn to grow. It is a tough plant with regards to temperature and humidity and can be quite forgiving.
Platycerium Willinckii cv. Pygmaem
The Sundae Islands, Indonesia, Java & Papua New Guinea
(Mature Pygmaem composed of many pups)
Willinckii is an impressive and unique platycerium species. The Pygmaem cultivar remains relatively small, although it is not the smallest staghorn. The shield fronds are produced starting in mid Spring and will remain green and alive until mid fall. The fertile frond of the Pygmaem cultivar are a very light green and remain fairly wide. Willinckii will begin producing fertile fronds starting in mid spring. Pygmaem can have numerous spore patches, one on the underside of each tip of the fertile frond.
Willinckii belongs to the group of Platycerium that reproduce by spores as well as by pupping. This type of Platycerium is generally referred to as a staghorn while the non-pupping species are called elkhorns.
Platycerium Willinckii is one of the easier staghorns to cultivate. Willinckii prefers slightly cooler temperatures than many staghorns, generally 40-70 degrees is ideal, but they will tolerate temperatures into the 90's. Willinckii also likes filtered sunlight around 40-60%, and roughly 30-60% relative humidity. Excellent air movement is also beneficial to Willinckii. These are general guidlines, however, since my ferns routinely see very different conditions than those listed above with no ill effects. Willinckii tends to be a pretty forgiving species.
As with most Staghorn ferns, correct watering is the most important cultivating requirement. Willinckii needs to dry back somewhat in between waterings. During the winter months Willinckii can essentially stop growing. It is particularly important not to overwater them during this time period. It is also important to allow Willinckii to completely dry back during the mid spring when it is producing its fertile fronds.
Given the right conditions, namely watering correctly, Platycerium Willinckii and its cultivars are rather easy staghorns to grow. They are tough plants with regards to temperature and humidity and can be quite forgiving.
Platycerium 'Cass' is a type of staghorn created by Charles Lewis Cass in 1940 in San Diego, CA. To make P. 'Cass' Mr. Cass combined the spores of P. stemaria, P. superbum, P. hillii, and P. bifercadum on a growing surface to facilitate cross-breeding (hybridization). This resulted in several new staghorns such as the ones I sell here.
'Cass' is interesting and unique. The fertile fronds of 'Cass' can be a very light green and remain fairly wide and upright similar to those of P. Hillii or they can be narrow and dark like those of Willinckii. The shield fronds are produced starting in mid Spring and will remain green and alive until mid fall, they can look much like those of P. Hillii (rounded and tight all the way around) or like those of P. Willinckii (tight on the lower half with "finger" protruding out of the top). 'Cass' will begin producing fertile fronds starting in mid spring. 'Cass' can have numerous spore patches, one on the underside of each tip of the fertile frond.
'Cass' belongs to the group of Platycerium that reproduce by spores as well as by pupping. This type of Platycerium is generally referred to as a staghorn while the non-pupping species are called elkhorns.
Platycerium 'Cass' is one of the easier staghorns to cultivate. 'Cass' prefers slightly cooler temperatures than many staghorns, generally 40-70 degrees is ideal, but they will tolerate temperatures into the 90's. 'Cass' also likes filtered sunlight around 40-60%, and roughly 30-60% relative humidity. Excellent air movement is also beneficial to 'Cass'. These are general guidlines, however, since my ferns routinely see very different conditions than those listed above with no ill effects. 'Cass' tends to be a pretty forgiving staghorn.
As with most Staghorn ferns, correct watering is the most important cultivating requirement. 'Cass' needs to dry back somewhat in between waterings. During the winter months 'Cass' can essentially stop growing. It is particularly important not to overwater them during this time period. It is also important to allow 'Cass' to almost completely dry back during the mid spring when it is producing its fertile fronds.
Given the right conditions, namely watering correctly, the different varieties of Platycerium Cass are rather easy staghorns to grow. They are tough plants with regards to temperature and humidity and can be quite forgiving.
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