Platycerium Veitchii

The Platycerium veitchii is probably named for the Veitch nursery in Exeter England, founded by James Veitch in the late 18th century and run by the family until it closed in 1914.

P. veitchii, common name Silver Elkhorn is from Australia and is closely related to P. biforcatum, but is unique in several ways.  It is covered with a great amount of white hair.  The tops of the shield fronds grow into tall thin fingers.  Its fertile fronds are very upright.  You can see in the photo above the tall fingers on the shield fronds

Roy Vail suggests these traits are adaptations to the dry conditions where it is native.  It likes very high light levels for these traits to be fully shown.  If the light is less, the fertile fronds are less erect, have fewer hairs, and the fingers along the tops of the shield fronds are shorter.  Roy ail has documented a Platycerium veitchii cv Lemoinei growing in low light that has long slender fertile fronds with no spore patches.  After the fronds mature, they can not support their own weight and droop down.  That same plant 18 months later has very erect fertile fronds with spore patches after it was moved into a high light environment.

In its native habitat, the P. veitchii is seen growing on rocks, near springs, in semi-arid basins in eastern Australia.  It withstands droughts of several months.

P. veitchii cv Lemoinei is sometimes offered in the trade as "green veitchii".  When compared to a regular P. veitchii the fertile fronds are much greener. The true P. veitchii is almost identical to the cultivar Lemoinei, but the Lemoinei is greener than the true P. veichii. 

There are several different cultivars of P. veitchi.  The most common is shown in photographs on this page.  There is another P. veitchii with very stiff and very narrow fertile fronds that form wide hands at the tip.  There is another with fronds that look like a P. hillii.  Both these grow in the wild in Australia.  There is also a cross between P. hillii and P. veitchii that grows round shield fronds without the typical P. veitchii tall finger shield fronds.







Platycerium veitchii growing on the side of a rock face in eastern Australia where the annual rainfall is quite low, about 25 inches a year..  Over watering can give P. veitchii difficulties, but it is an easy, interesting, distinctive and rugged species which forms pups freely.

One of the goals of most hobbyists growing P. viethii is obtaining the true color of P. veitchii which is from the white hair on the fertile fronds.  Second they want vertical fertile fronds.  High light, with little moisture gives the most distinctive specimens.



An interesting P. veichii submitted by Denise in Florida.  Notice the color difference between the brown shield fronds and the silver fertile fronds.  The fertile fronds are very narrow as compared to the wider version pictured above.

From the photo, it appears this P. veitchii is growing under low light conditions.  The long slender fertile fronds that can not stay upright point this out.  It is suspected a closer look might find few spore patches because of the poor light.  These babies need lots of light to reflect their true character of white erect fertile fronds with lots of spore patches.




This P. veitchii is growing in Mike Moody's garden.  Mike was President of LAIFS for 5 years and is still very active.

This beauty has long slender fertile fronds with wide forked fingers.  The shield fronds show very deep lobbing.  It is not growing in enough sunlight to develop its true silver color prized by collectors.


P. veitchii Mt Stewart is a new cultivar Roy Vail has suggested I should look for while touring Thailand in 2016. (I never found one)




 I found this photo on Facebook and posted by Adenilson Arneiro, probably in Brazil.  It is a Platycerium, veitchii cv 'Lemoinei"  Notice the number of forks on the fertile fronds.  Also notice the tips of the shield fronds.  Very impressive.  I would love to have a volunteer from this plant.  The Lemoinei is also called a green veitchii because it does not have the silver color of a true veitchii and is green as shown in this photo.



Another  Hybrid.  P. veitchii cv "Japanese Hybrid"

This P. veitchii cv "Japanese Hybrid" pictured left on Siam Exotica is different from the P. veitchii cv "Japanese Hybrid" pictured on Rainforest, pictured right.  The width of the fertile fronds are different, the shield frond appears different, and the color is different.

  There are a couple of new P. veitchii's from Thailand.  There is not much known about these cultivars but we list them here waiting for more information.

P. veitchii 'Green' P. veitchii 'Pumilum' P. veitchii 'Silver Frond'

P. veitchii 'Mt Stuart'

Found this photo (right) on Barry Landau's Facebook page Planet Platycerium.  It was labeled P veitchii (Mt Stuart form).  The grower, Trevor Crawford thought it was an extinct form but he found a grower with a large one and got this pup.  I believe they are in Queensland in NE Australia.  The Facebook post, and I assume the photo, was posted in March 2019.  I have recently learned there is a nursery in Sydney that sells the Mt Stuart.

I really like this form because it has beautiful silver gray color and very wide fertile fronds, like a P. hillii.  The silver gray color is a result of a full sun growing environment.


Click Click on photo to enlarge


I picked up this beauty at Rainforest Flora in Hawthorne.  They had it labeled as something else and was over priced, but I had to have in in my collection.  you can click on photo to enlarge.


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