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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - March 21, 2008

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Ferns
Title: Scientific name for non-native staghorn fern
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the scientific name for the staghorn fern?

ANSWER:

Platycerium (staghorn fern) is a genus of about 18 species in the Polypodiaceae family. The genus is epiphytic and native to tropical areas of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Guinea. As such, it is out of the area of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. However, here is a website from University of Florida Extension that can give you the lowdown on staghorn ferns. And here is a page of pictures of the staghorn fern.
 

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