Platycerium elephantotis

Platycerium elephantotis The common name is Angola Staghorn.  The most obvious characteristic of this species  striking feature of this species is its massive bright green group of shield fronds, which grow very large.  Its fertile fronds are long, very wide, hang down, and have no notches of fingers along the bottom edge.  Their large size is compared to elephant ears and has a second common name, elephant ear fern.

P. elephantotis growth is very seasonal.  During the spring, last years shield fronds die and new ones form during the summer.  Roy Vail suggests trimming back the tops of the shield fronds so the new ones grow more erectly.  After the new shield fronds form, new fertile fronds grow.

Many hobbyists have difficulty with P. elephantotis, but in my greenhouse in Southern California, my P. elephantotis is growing very well.  Roy Vail reports that if this platy wilts during a dry period, it will recover completely.  He cautions about keeping it wet, and under low light, as rot will set in.  He recommends bright warm temperatures and it will pup feely.

Roy Vail reports that if P. elephantotis is in a warm, right location, it becomes large and different, lives many years, and is not a difficult species to grow.

These photos show the hair growing on the bud of two different P. elephantotis.  Both have a new frond, possibly a fertile frond is starting to appear.  The green shield frond is relatively new.

I noticed a posting on Facebook a photo of a P. elephantotis cv. Paulo Forti.

[ Plant Glossary ]

Return to main page