In Australia it is cornmon practice to put unwanted vegetable scraps in the basket of P.superbum. Banana peels are particularly beneficial.
As P.superbum ages its rhizome becomes longer, and the bud moves farther from the mounting. It may gradually become less vigorous and die. A sign this is happening is when the new shields do not cover the older ones. The treatment for this is to cut off the back part of the plant, and remount the front part. One P.superbum "Weitz" has been grown since 1942, and cut back at least four times. The other giant solitary Platycerium species require this treatment also, but it is not certain if P.ridleyi would survive it.
Spores are abundant and their culture is typical, so this species is often the first sporelings who raises. Seven to eight years is normal from spore to a specimen with fertile fronds. P.superbum the most readily available staghorn thatdoes not form pups.
Two forms are found in the trade in California "Tamburiense" and "Weitz." "Tamburiense" is supposed to be' named for the Tamburine Mountains, in Australia, but it is a misnomer, because there are no such mountains. Ralph Hughes found the name that of a community with a resort hotel. Its elevation is 500 meters(1600 feet). He made observations there for three days and found the native P.superbum showed no unique traits. The "Tamburiense" being sold now are individuals with the least hair chosen from groups of standard P.superbum.
Platycerium superbum size 4"
It has shield fronds 1.5 metres.
some wild superbum with one growing with Ophioglossum pendulum.
Common Name: Giant Staghorn
The range of P.superbum is entirely in eastern Australia mostly out of the tropics at elevations from 0 to xml:namespace prefix = st1 />xml:namespace prefix = st1 />xml:namespace prefix = st1 />750 meters (0 to 2,500 feet).
Here is the grand solitary Platycerium of Queensland Australia. Its shields are deeply lobed and may reach 1.3 meters (4 feet) tall. Their upper edges extend forward. Behind them is a basket-like space which collects debris and water. Before a shield dies it is covered by a new green one. Old shields curl back into the basket.
When the shields are about 0.7 meters (2 feet) tall, the first fertile frond can be expected. This is a special event for the beginning hobbyist, a true sign of accomplishment. Each fertile frond has one spore patch, oval to nearly triangular, and brown when mature. The fertile frond extends down and outward from the bud. At its far corners are fingers which vary greatly in length, hanging down unless they are short.
The bud has light green hairs around it, and tends to become covered by frills from the edges of the shield fronds.
The main requirement for growing P.superbum is space. Young plants do well on plaques, but as they become large, some basic decisions abaul their mounting must be made. Many beautiful log and basket mountings have been devised.
P.superbum probably requires less water for its size than any other Platycerium. It is truly sensitive to overwatering. Excess water slows growth, and encourages rots in the shields and rhizome. Keeping it on a plaque with only a small amount of moss makes overwatering more difficult.
P.superbum does well in a variety of light levels. The only difficulty with full sun seems to be the flat upper surface of the fertile frond may sunburn. If dry it can take temperatures slightly below freezing, for short periods.
"Weitz" is named for Mrs.Herman Weitz a native California Indian lady whowith her husband, had a little fern nursery in Ventura, California, before World War II. It is nearly certain she got the original plant from Mr.Rosco S. Baldwin, who had a fern nursery of some note in Pasadena, California. Formerly called the "White Grande," its most distinctive features were, it was somewhat more hairy than standard P.superbum and tended to have wide sweeping tops to its shield fronds.
Here is a photo of some developing spore patches on superbum (giant type). This is lowland origin plants that grow in humid swamp around Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia (subtropical).