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Polystichum acrostichoides

Christmas fern

An evergreen fern with a branching rhizome producing clumps of leathery, narrowly-oblong fronds divided into pairs of narrow, mid to dark green leaflets

Other common names
dagger fern
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
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 East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming
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
E North America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grows well in moist but well-drained, cool, humus-rich soils in full or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by division or from spores

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Remove dead or damaged fronds in early spring

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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