P. S. Green Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, tw9 3AB, England

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Usually in the forest on banks by the creeks.

N.Is.: Mt Cross, 1992, M.Christian (K); 'shady woods, deep ravines', A.Cunningham 59 (K); s. loc., 1849, C.J.Simmons (K).

The plant illustrated as P. endlicheriana in W.J.Hooker's Icon. Pl. 10: t. 73 (1854) represents the generally slightly shorter-pinnuled New Zealand representative of this complex.


P.S.GreenRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, England

Rhizomatous, long-creeping, often scrambling and forming dense thickets. Fronds pinnate or more compound, usually pseudo-dichotomous by branching below a dormant or aborted apical bud; ultimate branches 1- or 2-pinnatifid; veins free, simple or forked. Sori of a few, rather large sporangia, without indusia; sporangia opening by a vertical or oblique annulus.

A relatively primitive family of 5 or 6 genera, and c. 150 species. Found throughout the tropics and subtropics, entering the temperate zone in the Southern Hemisphere. One genus native on Lord Howe Is.


Tent. Pterid. 51(1836)
from the Greek stichos (a row), in allusion to the double row of sori in these ferns

Type: S. laevigatus (Willd.) C.Presl

Rhizome long-creeping. Fronds consistently dichotomously branched, with a pair of leafy secondary branches below each terminal bud which, in turn, ends with a dormant bud and a further pair of leafy branches; pinnules entire; veins forked once. Sori in a single row on each side of the costae.

A genus of c. 100 species, found in the tropics, subtropics or warm temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere, sometimes included in the genus Gleichenia. One native species on Lord Howe Is.

Victorian Naturalist 40: 110(1943)

T: Victoria, 1941, N.A.Wakefield; holo: ?MEL n.v. So named from the occasionally lobed basal pinnules.

Illustrations: D.L.Jones & S.C.Clemesha, Austral. Ferns & Fern Allies 2nd edn, 204, fig. 285 (1981); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 141, fig. 13.3B (1990); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 37 (1990).

Rhizome slender, scaly. Stipes spaced along rhizome, tough, erect, to 1 m tall, with a few scales near base; branches forming up to 3 tiers; primary branches of rachis short, 1–3 cm long, the angle between them wide; ultimate branches almost at right angles to rachis, 1–3.5 cm long. Sori of 3–6 large, naked sporangia, midway between margins and costae.

Lord Howe Is. Found on the southern end of the summit of Mt Gower where it is perhaps a recent arrival by natural means, and spreading, having first been recorded in the last decade by A.N.Rodd & J.Pickard (Cunninghamia 1: 269, 1983). It was said (by J.Pickard) to occupy an area of about 2 square metres in 1976. I.Hutton, in collecting the specimens cited below, reported in February, 1988, that it was then occupying an area of about 10 square metres.

L.H.Is.: S end of Mt Gower summit, I.Hutton 470 & 471 (K).


P.S.GreenRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, England

Epiphytic, rarely terrestrial ferns. Rhizome creeping, rarely erect, with peltate, clathrate or non-clathrate scales. Fronds simple, lobed, dichotomously branched or pinnate, uniform or dimorphic, often with peltate or stellate hairs; stipe usually articulate with rhizome; veins usually reticulate, with free, included veinlets. Sori superficial or somewhat immersed, or elongated and coalescent, spread over lamina surface, without indusia; paraphyses often present.

A family of c. 29 genera and c. 1000 species, found throughout the world, but mostly tropical or subtropical; 3 native genera on Lord Howe Is., 2 of which are also found on Norfolk Is.


1 Bracket epiphytes; fronds strongly dimorphic, with basal sterile nest-fronds and dichotomously forked fertile fronds


1: Creeping epiphytes, or lithophytes or on earth banks; fronds not strongly dimorphic

2 Fronds consistently simple; lamina densely covered with stellate hairs, at least below; sori coalescing


2: Fronds simple or pinnatifid on the same plant; lamina not densely covered with stellate hairs; sori discrete



P.S.GreenRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB, England

Mém. Soc. Linn. Paris 6: 213(1827)
from the Greek platys (broad) and keras (a horn), in allusion to the shape of the frond, hence also the common names, Stag's Horn Fern and Elkhorn Fern

Type: P. alcicorne Desv.

Epiphytes. Rhizome short, covered with nest-fronds. Fronds strongly dimorphic; stipe very short or wanting; nest-fronds sterile, erect, broadly based, deeply cordate, papery with age, humus-collecting; fertile fronds erect or pendulous, dichotomously forked, densely stellate-hairy when young; primary veins dichotomously branched, almost parallel; secondary veins reticulate. Sori diffuse; sporangia not grouped in sori, covering areas on the lower surface or on differentiated fertile lobes.

An unmistakable genus of c. 15 species; pantropical, with 1 species in Peru and the remainder in the Old World, from Africa to SE Asia and eastern Australia. One species native to Lord Howe Is.

G.Bentham, Filices, Platycerium, Fl. Austral. 7: 780–781 (1878); E.Hennipman & M.C.Roos, A monograph of the fern genus Platycerium (Polypodiaceae), Verh. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Afd. Natuurk., Tweede Sect. 80: 1–126 (1982).

bifurcatum(Cav.) C.Chr.
Index Filic. 498(1906)

Acrostichum bifurcatum Cav., Anales Hist. Nat. 1: 105 (1799).T: Port Jackson, Australia, L.Née; holo: M n.v. The epithet is from the Latin bi- (two) and furcatus (forked), in reference to the forked, fertile fronds.

[Platycerium alcicorne auct. non Desv.: J.L.MacGillivray, Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 6: 353 (1854); G.Bentham, Fl. Austral. 7: 781 (1878); W.W.Watts, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 37: 395 (1913)]

Illustrations: D.L.Jones, Encycl. Ferns 188, 260 (1987); S.B.Andrews, Ferns Queensland 286, fig. 28.6C (1990); P.G.Wilson in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 39 (1990).

Bracket epiphyte, rarely a lithophyte. Rhizome short, stout. Rachis short, scaly. Nest-fronds sessile, 2 or more, 10–30 cm diam., broader than long, convex, entire, sinuate or lobed, stellate-hairy when young. Fertile fronds clustered, erect or hanging, 25–100 cm long, dichotomously forked up to 3 times, narrowly cuneate at base, coriaceous, covered with light brown, appressed, stellate hairs when young, especially on the backs. Soral patches covering most of the ultimate lobes of the fertile fronds.

Elkhorn Fern.

Lord Howe Is., especially from Intermediate Hill southwards. Also known from Papua New Guinea and Australia (Qld, N.S.W.), with a subspecies in Java.

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