Platycerium
Alcicorne x Madagascariense
Horn's Surprise,
Larry Weed, & Dawboy

 
Platycerium alcicorne cross madagascariense is a hybrid dating back to Jerry Horn, a nursery man in Florida, one of the first experts on platyceriums.  This cross hybrid was named P. Horn's Surprise.  I have a Horn's Surprise and a Dawboy, both from Thailand. Both are pictured above side by side with the P. Horn's Surprise on the left and the P. Dawboy on the right.  There are two varieties of the P. alcicorne, one from Africa and one from Madagascar.  The African P. alcicorne is a lighter green than the Madagascar P. alcicorne.  When observing the shade of green, it is apparent the P. Horn's Surprise is a cross with the African variety whereas the P. Dawboy is a cross with the Macagascar variety of P. alcicorne.

Charles Alford also has a cross of P. alcicorne and P. madagascariense that's  been named P. Larry Weed and it is similar to the P. Dawboy photo above.  If they are the same, it needs to be resolved which name should be used, based upon who came first. 

One other difference between the two varieties of the P. alcicorne is the shield fronds of the African P. alcicorne may be smoother and the rippling effect of the P. madagascariense may be less pronounced.  More examples of the African P. alcicorne need to be studied to confirm this observation.

 

The photo on the left is labeled as P. Horn's Surprise by Siam Exotica in Thailand and is more representative of the African form of P. alcicorne.  The shield frond has shallower ribs and the color is lighter green. 

 

 

 

 

 

The photo on the right is from Shaun Pillay in South Africa. This P. Horn's Suprize  is the best example of an established P. Horn's Suprize I can find on the Internet.  The shield fronds are light green and appear not as deeply grooved.  The fertile fronds seem to have a major fork, then one or two smaller forks again near the tip.  This forking is similar to the P. andinum.   The second photo below left is the shield of the same plant and shows the P. madagascarinese shield frond characteristic

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photo on the right is a
 P. Horn's Suprize  from Don Callard's collection in San Diego.  Click on photo to enlarge.

 

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