Platycerium hillii

The Platycerium Hillii is native to Queensland, Australia.  Typically the shield fronds are roundish or kidney shaped.  The shields grow close together, tightly pressed, into layers of old fronds.  Top edge is wavy or shallow lobed.  The shield fronds grow in fall and winter months.  Because the shield frond grow close to its mounting, getting water to the root ball can be challenging.  Hillii collect water in the fertile fronds at night time from evening dew.

The fertile fronds are erect with long wedge-shaped base and a broad top. dark green in color with vertical pronounced veins.  The tops are waxy with fuzzy hair on the underside.  Spore patched form on the underside of tips.

There are several cultivars within this species.  Jimmie, Drummond, Diversifolium, Bloomei, Pumilum, Panama, Hula Hands,  and a few unnamed variants.  Most, if not all P. hillii are very hardy and produce many pups.

Generally speaking, in the northern hemisphere November is the time to remount P. hillii as beginning in December new shield fronds will start forming and cover the mounting media.

image 1 P. hillii Jimmie (left) is a cultivar from the Steve Talnadge Fern Nursery in San Diego prior to 1974.  The vertical veins in the fertile fronds are less pronounced and the underside has a fuzzy hair appearance.  The shield fronds tend to hug the mounting making it difficult to water.  We have had 4x4 patio post rot out because the plant tightly hugs its mounting and they never dry out.  

The P. hillii Delight (right) has huge broad fertile fronds with rounded lobes on the finger ends.  Very rare P. hillii, cv. Bloomei (left) is similar to the cv. Jimmie, but the vertical veins in the fertile fronds are more pronounced and there is little or no fuzzy hair on the underside.  Some times the Bloomei is classified as its own species, P. bloomei but it is probably a cultivar, P. hillii cv Bloomei.  

P. hillii, cv. Diversifolium (right) is reported to be a larger growing variety than most P. hillii.

P. hillii, cv Panama (left & right) is a small slow growing hillii and ideal for limited space where one can not afford to grow a humongous platy.

The photo on the right is a well established P. hillii cv Panama from Norm Nakanishi's garden at LAIFS.  It clearly shows the wide multi fingered fertile frond.  There is a unique web page for the Panama

P. hillii, cv Hula Hands (right) is a unique platy with small finger like tips on the fertile fronds.  The Hula Hands is one of two platy's from Polynesia. The South Seas is the other one. 




Large P. Bloomei from West central Gulf Coast of Florida submitted by Denise.  Notice how big the fronds are on the left photo. 







This Platycerium hillii 'Bloomei' photo is from Tom Gauci's collection in Huntington Beach.  Nice dark green and wide fertile fronds.

Platycerium hillii 'Siam Willin' is another from Tom Gauci's collection in Huntington Beach.  It is believed to be an import from Thailand.
This Platycerium hillii 'Geni' is from Tom Gauci's collection in Huntington Beach.  Notice the nice wide fertile fronds and dark green



This P. hillii 'Mayii/ is from Tom Gauci's collection in Huntington Beach.  Nice wide deeply forked fertile fronds typicall of P. hillii.

This platycerium has been identified as a P. hillii cv Black by Lyus Ciapus Flora on Planet Platycerium in Facebook.  Similar color to the P. hillii Delight above but the fertile fronts are significantly different.


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