Staghorn ferns (Platycerium spp.) have an out-of-this world appearance. These plants make two types of fronds. The shield, or sterile fronds, wrap around the tree or rock on which the plant is growing. These shields usually form a basket which collects debris, providing a medium for root growth, and aiding in moisture collection and retention. Some species make more or less round shields, which close at the top.
The fertile, or normal fronds, grow out from the bud, and the spores are borne on these. Some species make fertile fronds much like the antler of a deer. Others are nearly round, or wedge shaped.
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