In the Pacific Northwest Cyrtomium are reliably evergreen and a wonderful, easy to grow addition to any woodland garden or shade container. The common name "Holly Fern" derives from the shape of the frond which is similar to Holly and Oregon Grape. The dark green and glossy fronds make them a stand-out addition to the shade garden.

Cyrtomium is a small genus of 15 to 20 fast growing, terrestrial or rock-inhabiting fern species from around the world. Fronds generally range in length from 1 to 2 1/2 feet in length. Holly ferns prefer moist conditions as they are largely native to damp forests or river banks. They thrive in acidic, nutrient rich soil with good drainage. Propagation through division is best in autumn or early spring.

These bold ferns make great companion plants for larger Hostas and other large-leaved perennials. The serrated edges of Cyrtomium also contrast well with soft textured perennials such as Farfugium, Astilbe, Tiarella, Dicentra and Brunnera. Planted in shade containers, Cyrtomium work nicely with Pansies, Primroses, Hellebores, and ornamental grasses.

Holly ferns are so versatile they also make excellent houseplants. Since they thrive with moisture, they are a good choice for terrariums or bathrooms.

Cyrtomium falcatum


Cyrtomium falcatum: Japanese Holly Fern

Distinctive vase shaped habit, with glossy sickle shaped leaflets.

Grows 1-2' tall 2-3' wide

Hardy in zones 6-10

Cyrtomium f. Rochfordianum: Rockford Holly Fern

A vigorous variety growing 1-2' tall and wide.

Attractive leaflets with cut edges creates a lighter texture

Hardy in zones 6-10

Cyrtomium fortunei

Cyrtomium fortunei: Fortune's Holly Fern

Dark purple stems contrast with pale green leaflets

Grows 18-24" tall and wide

Hardy in zones 6-10

Ferns for year-round interest.

Ferns add a delicate backdrop for any woodland or perennial garden.