Christian Primeau is NYBG‘s Manager of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
Staghorn fern (Platycerium sp.)
My office is situated in a most advantageous location adjacent to the ever-changing exhibition houses, my beloved desert houses, and steps from the breathtaking courtyard pools brimming with flowering lotus and water lilies. Voltaire might say “it is the best of all possible worlds.” Directly outside my door hang several beautiful specimens of Staghorn Fern (Platycerium sp.) As I sit at the computer, I am delighted by the amazed exclamations these plants elicit—so much so I feel compelled to write this post in hopes of answering the many wonderful questions visitors seem to have.
For the most part, patrons agree that the plant appears otherworldly. “It looks like some type of alien!” is a commonly overheard remark. I completely understand the sentiment, but these plants are most certainly of this world—found throughout the tropics and subtropics from the Philippines and Australia to Madagascar, Africa, and South America, to be exact. The way they grow in habitat and the unique way we display them in the Conservatory certainly present an unusual spectacle.
read more »