P. elemaria
Hybrid of P. andinum and

P. elephantotis







Photo LAIFS Journal
This plant was part of Barbra Joe Hoshizaki's collection



http://www.texasstaghornferns.com/images/Elemaria/photo%2011.JPGThe P. elemaria is a fairly new hybrid species combining spore from P. andinum and P. elephantotis.  Originally  though to be part P. stemaria but recent DNA tests show P. andinum the parent.  The fertile fronds are dark green with a waxy top.  It is not known if the underside is harry like P. stemaria.  Typically grown in a greenhouse, the above plant is grown outside and tolerates lower temperatures that either parent. most common problem reported is rot from too much watering. 

Both P. elephantotis and P. stemaria are found together in the forests of West Africa and need an 80F humid environment with temps above 50F so should probably be grown in a greenhouse.  The P. elephantotis is native to dry forests whereas the P. stemaria is reported to like frequent watering.  Nothing has been reported on the watering of the P. elemaria.  P. elemaria appears more tolerant to cold than its parents.  It grows out doors in So. California.


There is a cultivar of P. elemaria cv. sanchez that may not be deciduous.  Only slight browning of the shield fronds has been reported.  Whereas the P. stemaria has short lived shield fronds, and the P. elephantotis massive shield fronds which turn brown in the spring.  It is not known if the fertile fronds are harry on the underside like P. stemaria.  It may be the photos, but the shield fronds show a yellowish green near the bud.

The reader must realize that many hybrids are a result of accidental mixing of spore when similar plants are grown in close proximity.  Even when spore from two species are intentionally crossed, it is always possible for a spore from an unintended species to contaminate the intended cross. After repeated attempts and proof that their progeny have the same traits, then we can agree as to the parentage and define it as a new hybrid and not just a sport or cultivar of a species.  This can take a long time with slow growing platyceriums and experienced growers are hesitant to jump the gun and name a hybrid.  So when we discuss hybrids, we need to consider all the variables.  Soon we will have more definite DNA studies.  Until DNA testing is more readily available, and established parent base lines defined, we must look at and compare traits from other species and deduct a logical inference to the actual parentage and these are considered individual plants and not necessarily a hybrids.

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