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Common Names: Christmas Fern

Scientific Name: Polystichum acrostichoides


Plant Characteristics

  • Duration: Perennial
  • Size: Typically grows to a height of 2-5 ft.
  • Foliage: The fronds are deeply lobed, resembling the shape of a shuttlecock, and have a unique cinnamon-colored central stalk.


Growing Conditions

  • Water Use: High
  • Light Requirement: Part Shade to Full Shade
  • Soil Moisture: Moist to Wet, well-drained


Ecological Benefits

Chistmas fern got its name because it stays green right through the holiday season. It is a robust, leathery fern which has glossy, green fronds year-round. The fronds grow in clusters from a crownless rootstock and range from 1-2 ft. in length. Fertile fronds are taller. The once-divided fronds with pointed pinnae result in a medium to coarse texture. The silvery fiddleheads emerge in early spring.

Christmas fern is very easy to establish and grow where conditions are right. It requires cool, moist, well-drained soil in shade. In the right spot, it can be a good, evergreen border or accent plant. Though often used as a groundcover, it is a clumping fern, not forming a continuous, undifferentiated carpet the way some ferns do.

Christmas Fern

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