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Polystichum setiferum
  • RHS AGM

soft shield fern

P. setiferum is a tufted evergreen fern to 1.2m in height, with rosettes of soft textured, lance-shaped mid-green fronds, the stalks with prominent orange-brown scales

Synonyms
Polystichum setiferum bulbosum
Polystichum setiferum angulare

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Polystichum are mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen ferns, with short stout rhizomes and pinnately divided fronds in neat shuttlecock-like rosettes

Name status

Correct

Plant range
SW & C Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in most cool, fertile, moist, humus-rich, shaded soils. Protect crowns from excessive winter wet

Propagation

Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe, division of rhizomes in spring or by bulbils in autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary

Pests

Generally pest free outdoors

Diseases

Generally disease free

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