Polystichum is a wonderful addition to any shade garden. Not only are they pretty to look at with their lacy frond structures, they are also evergreen, giving the gardener something interesting and enjoyable to look at through every season.
These ferns work well in mass plantings (fern glens), as a back drop to herbaceous perennials, and also in containers. Though they prefer rich moist soils they adapt well to poor soils and tight conditions, sometimes emerging out of the cracks of rocks.
Some Polystichum are native to this area and thrive in the Northwest because of our acidic soils and moderate temperatures. They scatter our forest floors with their enduring evergreen elegance, helping to make the great Northwest one of the most beautiful places to live.
A few of our favorites are:
Evergreen, light sheen, olive green, linear fronds, native to Asia
The "classic" Northwest native fern, dark green shiny leaves, 3'- 4' part shade
Evergreen and dark green, frosted underside, 2'- 3' tall, native to Japan and Korea
Evergreen, dark lacy fern for shady location, generally 1.5 feet tall
Evergreen lacy fronds, arching, mounding, moist shade
Upright , lacy, evergreen. Crests like a Rams head, 2'- 4', light shade
Evergreen, soft, lacy fronds, rosettes 2'- 3' high
Small striking fern with black stems, semi-evergreen, needs well drained soil. Established plants can handle some dryness.