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The Amazing Fern That Resembles Deer Antlers
Residents of Florida who pay attention to their surroundings will someday come upon the illustrious Staghorn Fern growing on a tree at eye level.
When you see one, you can’t miss it. It’s large, exuberant, impressively beautiful, and bursting with life. The part I like best about it, though, is that it’s also as low-maintenance a plant as you will ever meet. I’ll explain that in a minute.
The picture above shows the grand staghorn fern that hangs on the tree in my neighbor’s front yard. (I promise I didn’t sneak into his yard to get the picture: it’s used with permission!)
It seems obvious that God “shows off” every now and then by way of His marvelous natural creations. How else do you explain orchids that resemble monkeys and slippers, or platypuses that look like three of four different types of animals all stitched together into one unique creature?
Here, He created a plant that resembles the horns of an animal that is not native to the environments in which the plants grow – what an incredible combination of things!
In addition to its uniquely creative concept, there are several other things that make the Staghorn Fern a phenomenon of the natural world:
It’s an epiphyte – that is, a type of “air plant” that, like a clever magician, mostly pulls its water and nutrients out of thin air! Tack it up on the side of a tree, and it will grow on its own. (As I said, low maintenance.)
It grows only in hot and fairly humid environments, which is why you find them in Florida, Hawaii, Southeast Asia, and certain hot spots in Australia and Latin America.
It thrives on potassium, manganese, and phosphorus, so, every now and then, you should toss a banana peel up to the top of the plant and let it sit there. The plant will siphon off all the nutrients from the peel and thank you for the treat.
Some wild versions of the plant can grow “horns” up to 15 feet in length. Wow.
Ah, the wonder and glory of God’s creations. The biblical psalmist always seems to say it best:
“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches.” ~Psalm 104:24
And the plant that resembles the horns of a majestic animal is certainly one of them!
Here’s the full image: