Polystichum acrostichoides 

(poly-sti' chum a-crow-sti-choy' dees)

Common name: Christmas Fern

Family: Dryopteridaceae

Height x width: 18-24" x 18-24"

Growth rate: moderate

Fronds: evergreen, dark green, lanceolate, once-pinnate, pinnae are bristly serrated with a characeristic "ear-like" lobe pointing upwards; dimorphic: fertile fronds with sori on upper third of pinnae; sterile fronds longer and narrower; fronds from central crown

Sori: tan scattered to nearly covering lower surface of fertile fronds as noted above

Hardiness: zones 3-8

Soil: most, well-drained and acidic prefered

Light: part shade

Pests and Problems: none serious

Landscape habit, uses: woodlands, massed, shade beds for contrast with other perennials

Other interest: native to eastern U.S. and often found growing in woods; common name from fact it is often seen in woods at Christmas; genus name from Greek polys meaning many and stix meaning row, refering to the regular rows of sori in some species

Other culture: low maintenance

Propagation: spring division, spores

Cultivars: none commercially available in U.S. or U.K.


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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