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

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]

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.