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Platycerium ridleyi Christ.

Family Name: Polypodiaceae
Common Name: Ridley's Staghorn Fern

Ridley’s Staghorn Fern was named after the first director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sir Henry Nicholas Ridley, who made exceptional contributions to the region’s botany, natural history and economy in the 1880s. Unlike other species, Ridley’s Staghorn Fern produces unique upright forked leaves, which resemble a deer’s antlers!

Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Occasional Misting Native to Singapore Interiorscape / Indoor Plant Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Foliage Shallow Media ferns and allies Epiphyte


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Ferns & Allies (Non-Seed Vascular Plants) (Fern)
Plant Growth Form Epiphyte
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.5 m to 0.6 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 0.5 m to 0.6 m


Native Distribution Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Lingga Islands, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Presumed Nationally Extinct (NE))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form This fern plant consists of a rhizome (horizontally growing stem) that bears nest-leaves and repeatedly forked, ascending foliage leaves.
Foliage It produces two kinds of fronds. The infertile nest-fronds are corrugated, 20–50 by 20–40cm, and fold over one another to form an enclosed chamber with rounded base attached to host surface. The fertile fronds are 25–50 cm long or more, forked, stiff and leathery, grow upwards, resembling stag's antlers.
Reproductive Parts - non-flowering plant The lobes that bear the sporangia (spore-producing structures) are reverse egg-shaped to elliptic, and 5–17 by 3–15 cm. There are eight spores per sporangium.
Others - Plant Morphology It is the only species of Staghorn Fern with ascending fertile fronds.
Associated Flora It is often found in association with Lecanopteris species (Ant Ferns).
Associated Fauna Its nest-fronds are often colonized as nesting area by ants in the wild.
Cultivation Fern can be mounted onto tree branch/ trunk, or fern root slabs (which need daily misting).
Etymology Species named after British botanist and first director of Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1888 to 1911, Henry Nicholas Ridley, who discovered the plant in Bukit Timah forest (Singapore).

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It forms reticulated nest-leaves. The fertile foliage-leaves also extend upwards, unlike other Platycerium species.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
Landscape Uses General, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Occasional Misting
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Pruning No pruning required.
Propagation Method Tissue Culture, Spore


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Leathery

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Acaulescent

Image Repository



Master ID 267
Species ID 1563
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 27 January 2021.