Platycerium Plant Glossary

Bud On platyceriums, the lump of tissue that grows into a new fertile frond.
Epiphytic A plant that grows on another plant for support.  It is not parasitic.
Fertile Frond The frond that usually grows perpendicular to the shield frond and usually grow spore patches and or sori.  Usually ending in a forked end.
Gametophyte Small plant that contain the sex organs that in turn produce the gametes, which in turn form the prothalli.  This is the reproductive stage between being a spore and a sporophyte.
Genus species 'Cultivar' Genus is a group of species, species are the individual plants within the genus group, and cultivar is the cultivated variety of the plant.  The format on the left is the correct method for identifying a plant. i.e. Platycerium bifurcatum 'Netherlands'
Hardened Plant Plants that have adjusted to harsher growing conditions.
Hybrid An offspring of two different species. i.e. a cross between P. elephantotis x P. stemaria.
Platycerium The genus within the fern family specifically for staghorn ferns.
(plural, prothalli)
A collection of gametophytes
Pups Some species form young plants from the roots and or rhizome which are called volunteers or pups.
Ratty Some species grow fertile fronds that appear ratty because of the way they hang and intertwine with adjacent fronds.
Rhizome A stem that grows behind the bud horizontally and is anchored to the mounting.
Shield frond A leaf frond that grows around and attaches to the mount.   The shield frond generally catches and stores water and nutrients.
Sinus The space between the lobes of a frond.
Sporangia A specialized structure that produces the spore within.
Spore Individual cells that form in sporangia and are released into the air when ripe.
Spore Patch Each platycerium grows a spore patch of which the shape may vary between the species.  The spore patch is composed of sporangia
Sporeling A young plant that arises from the prothallus.
Sporophytes First stage of the familiar plant that bears roots, shields, and fronds and eventually more spore.
Sport A plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant.  Sports may differ by foliage shape or color, or branch structure.
Veins The strands of vascular tissue in a leaf.

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