The genus Polystichum is comprised of 200 species of mostly evergreen, terrestrial ferns that are found worldwide in a variety of habitats. These excellent foliage plants are useful in rock or shade gardens, ferneries, in borders, or as woodland groundcovers. They can also be grown in a greenhouse where not hardy. Their lance-shaped, pinnate fronds are usually arranged in a shuttlecock shape. Some species bear fronds that are glossy, leathery, or hairy. Polystichum offer a long season of interest and combine well with many types of plants.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsLance-shaped fronds that thrive in shade. Generally trouble-free.
CarePolystichum species need fertile, humusy, well-drained soil in full or part shade. Tidy up by removing dead fronds before new growth unfurls.
PropagationDivide in spring. Separate fronds with bulbils in autumn. Sow spores at 59° to 61°F when ripe.