Large fern plant!
by Lou Carrier
(Huntington Beach , CA)
My wife, Martha, got a clipping decades ago from her Mom. After much nurturing and feeding of bananas the plant now weighs 400 pounds. We built a special structure to hold the plant. Wraparound link chains hold the plant up. After a web search I can not find any bigger. Guiness Book of Records does not record plants.
Hi Lou, that certainly is an absolutely gigantic specimen of a plant. Thank you for the great close ups - that makes it easier to see what this might be; I'm leaning towards some kind of Staghorn Fern, although I've never seen anything like one this size. The botanical name is Platycerium, and here's what my favorite book, The Sunset Best Western Garden Book has to say about them:
"Odd epiphytic ferns from tropical regions. In nature, they grow on trees; gardeners grow them on slabs of bark or tree fern stem, occasionally in hanging baskets or on trees. Most should be kept on the dry side and given water only when slab or moss to which plant is attached is dry to the touch. Two kinds of fronds; sterile ones are flat, pale green aging to tan and brown; they support plant and accumulate organic matter to help feed it. Fertile fronds are forked, resembling deer antlers. Striking decoration for lanai, shaded patio."
So, as luck would have it, you have the perfect conditions to grow this fern.
You can see more about Staghorn Ferns here.
Happy California Gardening!
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