Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Western sword fern

Polystichum munitum

pol-ISS-tih-kum MEW-nih-tum Audio

Western sword ferns abound in the forests of the Northwestern U.S. They are robust, reliable, and virtually maintenance-free. They put up with difficult soil and manage to keep up appearances even in hot, dry weather. Their deep green, leathery fronds are attractive year-round.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis low-maintenance U.S. native fern has evergreen, leathery fronds.

CareProvide partial to full shade and fertile, well-drained soil. Trim off the oldest fronds each spring.

PropagationDivide in spring.


  • Genus : Polystichum
  • Zones : 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Tolerance : Frost Tolerant
  • Uses : Ground Covers
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Light : Partial Shade to Full Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, become a member today.

Get complete site access to decades of expert advice, regional content, and more, plus the print magazine.

Start your FREE trial