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Re: Wild Oz Platycerium ID?

  • Subject: Re: [ferns] Wild Oz Platycerium ID?
  • From: Regferns@aol.com
  • Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 10:08:52 EDT

Great photos of Platycerium superbum.  This is the species that everyone has 
been commenting on recently.  Not all of the platys are as superb looking as 
this one.  There are five spectacular species that look similar (but are very 
different once you get to know them): Platycerium superbum (Australia), P. 
grande (The Philippines), P. wandae (New Guinea), P. holttumii (S. E. Asian 
Peninsular) and P. wallichii (S. E. Asian Peninsular).  These are also 
non-pupping species.  They are usually differentiated by the fertile fronds.  
After observing the differences in the fertile fronds, then you will slowly 
begin to see the subtle differences in the shield fronds as well.  

Beware of the Platycerium Bug.  After one bite, you then go mad trying to 
collect and successfully grow all of the species (the number is in doubt).  
And then you realize that even though you live in the subtropics, you can't 
successfully grow all of the species because tropical habitats vary, then you 
get an overwhelming appetite to grow all sorts of ferns of every size, shape 
and color.  I was bitten by the bug in the early 70's and though I am not 
cured, I have learned to live with the disease.

Reggie Whitehead
South Miami, Florida

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