The Development of a Program of Commercial Production of Staghorns from Plant Tissue Culture
Ross A. Bourne
Staghorns (Platycerium superbum) are naturally found in subtropical to tropical areas of Australia, Singapore, and the Philippines. They are a magnificent epiphyte and are sought after to such an extent that they are becoming rare due to the removal of their natural habitat through logging, clearing, and bush harvesting operations. This species has a single growing point and therefore cannot be propagated using off shoots as is the case with the elkhorn (P. bifurcatum). Spores are produced annually by mature specimens. Production from spores in a greenhouse requires a time frame of 2 to 4 years and is considered to be an unreliable method of propagation.
No references can be found for in vitro production of staghorns. Previous work with P. stemaria (Beauvois) Desu by Hennen and Sheehan (1978) produced 300 explants in a 16-month period using the shoot tip from a mature plant. By comparison there are numerous references to in vitro production of (P. bifurcatum) where 150
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