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Polystichum acrostichoides

Christmas fern add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Ferns, Evergreens, Ground Covers

Light Requirements: part-shade, shade

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 1'-2'

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: clumping, evergreen, fall interest, ornamental foliage, rock garden plant, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
  • Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)

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Description

Polystichum acrostichoides

Also known as:

Christmas fern

,

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

One of the more popular ferns, the Christmas fern has a coarse, robust appearance. It does not readily spread and therefore does not become aggressive. It will grow in a clump of increasing size and reach a height of up to 2 feet. Its leathery, evergreen fronds develop from silvery fiddleheads that turn dark green as they mature.

Cultivation

Polystichum acrostichoides is very easy to grow in average soil and in a low light setting. Crown rot may occur without adequate drainage. Commonly found on abrupt slopes, the Christmas fern is well suited to rock gardens and will even protect against soil erosion if planted in masses. Will provide an excellent, deer resistant ground cover. Zones 3-8

Propagation

Propagate by division or from spores.

Additional Notes

Should be used more often as an alternative to English ivy in dry shade. As an evergreen, the Christmas fern provides good winter interest. The decorative fronds are often used in floral arrangements.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Exploitably Vulnerable: NY
  • Threatened: MN

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision
Division Pteridophyta Ferns
Class Filicopsida
Subclass
Order Polypodiales
Family Dryopteridaceae Wood Fern family
Genus Polystichum hollyfern
Species Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas fern