• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Polypodium vulgare

common polypody

  • Other common names common polypody
    adder's fern

    brake root
    eastern polypody
    ever fern
    golden locks
    golden maidenhair
    lady's milk
    wall fern
    word fern

    see more
  • Family Polypodiaceae

  • Genus Polypodium can be evergreen or deciduous ferns, with creeping rhizomes bearing simple or pinnate fronds at intervals

  • Details P. vulgare is an evergreen terrestrial or epiphytic fern, to 30cm tall, with creeping rhizomes and lance-shaped to oblong, pinnate or very deeply pinnatifid dark green fronds

  • Plant range Eurasia


  • Foliage Evergreen

  • Habit Mat forming

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or North-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Sand


  • Chalk


  • Loam


  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAlkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 0.1-0.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread 0.5-1 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Easy to grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained or drier soils in sunny or lightly-shaded sites. Tolerant of dry shade but water regularly in their first season and mulch well

Propagation Propagate by division in spring or early summer. Sow spores at 15-16?C when ripe

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden Rock Garden

How to care

Pruning Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases Generally disease free outdoors

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