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:

Polystichum makinoi

Polystichum makinoi: Makinoi Holly Fern

Evergreen, light sheen, olive green, linear fronds, native to Asia

Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum: Sword Fern

The "classic" Northwest native fern, dark green shiny leaves, 3'- 4' part shade

Japanese tassel fern (Polystichum polyblepharum) (1) (17038740822)

Polystichum polyblepharum: Tassel Fern

Evergreen and dark green, frosted underside, 2'- 3' tall, native to Japan and Korea

Polystichum setiferum angulare: Lace Fern, Alaska Fern

Evergreen, dark lacy fern for shady location, generally 1.5 feet tall

Polystichum setiferum 'Divisilobum'

Polystichum setiferum 'Divisiloblum: Divided soft shield fern

Evergreen lacy fronds, arching, mounding, moist shade

Polystichum setiferum rotundatum: Crested Rams Head fern

Upright , lacy, evergreen. Crests like a Rams head, 2'- 4', light shade

Soft Shield Fern

Polystichum setiferum: Soft shield fern

Evergreen, soft, lacy fronds, rosettes 2'- 3' high

Polystichum tsussimense - Atlanta Botanical Garden

Polystichum tsus-simense: Korean Rock Fern

Small striking fern with black stems, semi-evergreen, needs well drained soil. Established plants can handle some dryness.

Ferns for year-round interest.

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