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Cyrtomium falcatum
  • RHS AGM

Japanese holly fern

C. falcatum is an evergreen fern, deciduous in cold areas, forming a tuft of leathery, pinnate fronds to 70cm long, composed of dark glossy green, broadly sickle-shaped leaflets

Other common names
fishtail fern
holly fern
see morehouse holly fern
Synonyms
Polystichum falcatum
Phanerophlebia falcata
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 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

South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Dryopteridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Genus

Cyrtomium can be tufted evergreen or deciduous ferns with simply pinnate leaves composed of sickle-shaped pinnae; spore-heaps are scattered over the lower surface of the frond

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E Asia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Can be grown outdoors in a moderately fertile, humus-rich soil but will require protection from frosts

Propagation

Propagate by spores sown at 16°C in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Rock garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Banks and slopes
  • Ground cover
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

No pruning required but frost-damaged fronds can be removed in spring

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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