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
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
Pricing & Availability
Polystichum acrostichoidesAlso known as:
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.
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
Propagate by division or from spores.
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
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
|Family||Dryopteridaceae||Wood Fern family|
|Species||Polystichum acrostichoides||Christmas fern|