Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas Fern

Christmas Fern is a forever plant, a lifetime fern with beautiful
leathery lance-shaped fronds growing in arching, circular clusters
from the crown. The common name is derived from its evergreen
nature and from the shape of its pinnae which suggest Christmas
stockings. This native is common throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Print Version: Polystichum acrostichoides, Christmas FernMGNVorg Polystichum acrostichoides

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets


Tags: Evergreen perennial in circular, cascading clump, Silvery, scaled fiddleheads emerge in spring, Dark green, leathery, lance-shaped [sterile and nonfertile part of fertile] fronds remain evergreen Pinnae (leaflets) have bristly, toothed edges and distinguishing “stocking” or “ear-like” lobe, Spore-bearing sori form on undersides of the smaller pinnae on upper third of fertile fronds, Clumps increase in size over time, Tolerates dry soil, dense shade, drought, rabbits; dislikes clay soil and standing water; no serious pests or diseases; deer rarely damage, Therapeutic uses, Good winter, Good winter interest, Growing and Maintenance Tips Excellent Replacement for Soil Requirements: Rich, well-drained Hedera helix – English Ivy, Partial Shade, Shade Liriope spicata – Creeping Lily-Turf, Dry, Moist Plant rhizome at an angle to aid in preventing crown rot in poorly drained soils during winter, Use as an accent, under trees, along shaded foundations/walls, in rain, rock or woodland gardens, or en masse on banks to control erosion, Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-9