This rare species has shields like no other Platycerium. Their veins form tall ridges which surround little valleys. The only other species with shields anything like this is P. ridleyi, but in it the ridges go to the edge of the shield without forming the little valleys. The two species are not closely related.
Under fluorescent lights the rhizome may grow 5 to 7 cm (2 or 3 inches) out from the roots before fertile fronds form. In higher light the rhizome is shorter. However, the rhizomes eventually become long in all P. madagascariensedue to the spaces between the shields. As the new shields wrap around the old ones, the whole plant becomes ball-shaped.
Ant - inhabited plants often attract other insects when in cultivation.P. madagascarienseis not easily damaged by insecticides,so constant insect control is both feasible and essential.
The distribution of P.madagascarienseon Madagascar, is in the central moist forests, at elevations from 300 to 700 m. (975 to 2,075 feet).
New shields of P.madagascarienseare thin and light green, but when mature they turn a rich, dark green which they remain until covered by another shield. The shields cover the top of the moss, and do not collect debris behind them. The little valleys cause many spaces between the shields. In nature, these spaces are inhabited by ants, and the roots of the orchid Cymbidiellarhodochila.
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High humidity, 60% or more, seems best. Some who have put this species in humidity chambers, in one case under regular fluorescent light, and had it grow and pup. Mounting in a loose moss, or osmunda fiber, helps keep the roots from being constantly wet, which reduces problems with fungi and rots. However, the shields are thin and have no water storage tissue, so the roots must be kept moist.
Removal of pups is often not successful, an indication pups should be allowed to become rather large before being cut off. Spore culture is not considered unusually difficult. are allowed to become. 1 inch) across before they are transplanted. The other gametophytes seem to wait their turn before forming sporophytes. One culture may produce sporophytes for two years.