Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

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 (Legal Size): Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)

Fern Height: 1⁄2–2 feet Bloom Color: Non-flowering Spread: 1–2 feet Characteristics 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 Attributes 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 interest Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich, well-drained Light Requirements: Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: 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 Excellent Replacement for Hedera helix - English Ivy Liriope spicata - Creeping Lily-Turf
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets