Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern


Polystichum acrostichoides, commonly called Christmas fern.  Typically grows in a fountain-like clump to 2′ tall and features leathery, lance-shaped, evergreen (green at Christmas time as the common name suggests) fronds. Stocking shape of the pinnae also suggests Christmas. Crosiers (young fiddleheads) in spring are silvery and scaled. Sori appear on the undersides of the pinnae only at the ends (last 1/3) of the fronds. Evergreen fronds provide good winter interest for the landscape. Best grown in organically rich, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Consider planting rhizome at an angle to help combat potential crown rot problems which can occur in poorly drained soils. Although rhizomatous, this fern will not spread or naturalize, however clumps will increase in size over time.   No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot in poorly drained soils can be a problem, particularly in winter. Zone 3-9.  Part shade to shade.

Dryish or moist soils in woodland gardens, shade gardens or shady areas of borders, wild or native plant gardens. May also be planted in shady areas along walls or foundations.

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