Saturday, July 14, 2012

super - bum

What impressive plants are staghorns! They're epiphytes and get all their nutrients, such as leaves and insects, from what falls into their 'nest' frond which can easy get to a metre across. The nest frond is also the one that attaches itself to the tree host, clasping onto the furrows in the bark with root like structures and at the same time protecting them and the rhizome.

Every time it floods there are some to rescue from the river bank. This one was rescued as a tiny thing no more than 5 inches across last year. Jack attached it to one of the Jacarandas and it's never looked back.

It's scientific name is Platycerium Superbum. Platycerium comes from the Greek platys meaning 'flat' and ceras meaning a 'horn'. Superbum is from the Latin and of course, means 'superb'.  It's pronounced SOO-PURR-bum rather than SOOPER-bum. What a shame it's not named after someone's great big wrinkly rear end...

The derivation of Platypus must also be from the Greek word for flat, probably because of their cute little flat feet:

Hmm...who would have thought that a staghorn would resemble a platypus foot...

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