Range: Southeast Asia
The staghorn fern is a remarkable tropical epiphyte (air plant) that grows happily on the trees of South Florida. Even as it grows to a large size, sometimes several feet across, it doesn’t harm the tree that supports it. There are many species of Platycerium, but this one is able to withstand occasional cold weather. Its flat, shield-like leaves are sterile, while its long, antler-like leaves have rust colored patches that produce spores. The spores are tiny and float on the wind, allowing staghorn ferns to spread far and wide and colonize urban trees throughout our region.