Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Rare and Astounding Staghorns

Roadtrip to Laguna last Monday. I was with Ronald and fern enthusiast Anthony to check out a tree they found flowering some months ago. The plant they were referring to was Terminalia calamansanai (as identified by Leonard Co) or malakalumpit, now with winged seed pods. Along the way we got to check out a household garden sporting large specimens of Platycerium coronarium or staghorn fern. The fern used to be abundant in this part. Now they are reduced to very rare isolated specimens.

Platycerium coronarium is one of two recognized species of staghorn ferns found native to the Philippines. The other is P. grande which is endemic to Mindanao. They are called staghorn ferns because the pendulous fronds are shaped like the antlers of deer bucks.

P. coronarium ranges from Luzon to Palawan. It is threatened by over collection and habitat loss. If things progress as the way they are right now, there will come a time that these fern marvels will only be known as garden specimens.


elizabeth said...

congratulations on a very interesting blog. did you know that Leonard Co passed away last night. he was my orgmate at the UP Mountaineers. pls pray for his family at this sad time.thanks

metscaper said...

I was in his wake last night. He is a very good friend and a great mentor.

Atlas Manuel Amante said...

Thank you for this blog and finally my curiosity is satisfied. I have been so fascinated with ferns. And I was in Calaruega and saw a tree with this extraordinarily shaped and sized leaf hanging on a tree. It's great to know the name now and even to know that this Staghorn is native to the Philippines. Would you be able to confirm it though with my photo? This is link URL: Maraming Salamat po! Also, I actually came across your blog because I was trying to satisfy another curiosity of mine but this time I wanted to know how a Nito or Black Fern look like. Do you have a photo of it? Salamat uli! Atlas M. Amante