Subordinate Taxa
Scientific Name:
Platycerium Desv., Mém. Soc. Linn. Paris 6: 213 (1827)
Type Taxon:
Platycerium alicorne Desv.
From the Greek platys (flat or broad), and keras (a horn), a reference to the fertile fronds ressembling the horns of a stag.

Epiphytic ferns.  Rhizomes short-creeping, scaly.  Rhizome scales non-clathrate, chaffy.  Fronds dimorphic; basal fronds sterile, cordate, overlapping, appressed, entire or variously lobed, becoming brown with age, forming a ‘nest’ or ‘basket’; upper foliage fronds sterile or fertile, articulated to rhizome, dichotomously branched, strap-like, coriaceous, covered with stellate hairs.  Major veins dichotomously branched; minor veins reticulate; areoles with or without free included veinlets; hydathodes absent.  Sporangia in dense patches on various parts of the abaxial lamina surface; paraphyses present as stellate hairs; exindusiate.  Spores monolete, bilaterally symmetrical, plain to tuberculate.


A genus of about 18 species (Hennipman & Roos 1982, Bostock & Spokes 1998).


Pantropical with one species in South America, six in Africa and Madagascar, eight in south east Asia, and four in Australia. One species casual in New Zealand.

Number of species in New Zealand within Platycerium Desv.
Exotic: Casual1
Bostock, P.D.; Spokes, T.M. 1998: Polypodiaceae. In: Flora of Australia. Vol. 48. 468–495.
Brownsey, P.J.; Perrie, L.R. 2015: Polypodiaceae (excluding Notogrammitis). In: Breitwieser, I; Heenan, P.B.; Wilton, A.D. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand — Ferns and Lycophytes. Fascicle 1. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Desvaux, A.N. 1827: Prodrome de la famille des fougères. Mémoires de la Société Linnéenne de Paris 6: 171–337.
Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J.; Cameron, E.K.; Ogle, C.C.; Champion, P.D. 2004: Checklist of dicotyledons, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 2001–2003. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 797–814.
Hennipman, E.; Roos, M.C. 1982: A monograph of the fern genus Platycerium (Polypodiaceae). Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afd. Natuurkunde Series 2, 80: 1–126.
Hennipman, E.; Veldhoen, P.; Kramer, K.U. 1990: Polypodiaceae. In: Kramer, K.U.; Green, P.S. Pteridophytes and gymnosperms. Vol. 1. In: Kubitzki, K. (ed.) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
PPG 1 2016: A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes. Journal of Systematics and Evolution 54(6): 563–603.