Platycerium, commonly called staghorn fern, is a fascinating genus.
These plants make two types of fronds. The shield, or sterile fronds, wrap around the tree or rock on which the plant is growing. These shields usually form a basket which collects debris, providing a medium for root growth, and aiding in moisture collection and retention. Some species make more or less round shields, which close at the top.
The fertile, or normal fronds, grow out from the bud, and the spores are borne on these. Some species make fertile fronds much like the antler of a deer. Others are nearly round, or wedge shaped.
Click on the species below, to see a photo of each species, along with a comment or two. I hope to add to the cultural information as time and knowledge allow.
The Platycerium Hobbyists Handbook, by Roy Vail, has been the best place to start learning about this genus. It is a book which belongs in every collectors library. Out of print for years, Roy no longer offers the book for sale, but does share it as a PDF. He has given me permission to post this on my website, and I am proud to be able to do so. This is about 200 pages.
Roy supports a project to restore habitat for P. andinum, in Peru. I asked him if I should have people donate something, and he told me it is very difficult to get money to them. If an opportunity arises to support that cause, please remember his generosity.