Soft Shield Fern
Soft Shield Fern
Polystichum setiferumItem #3649 USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9
Outstanding for shade, with feathery, dark green fronds that look tropical but are actually hardy! The perfect contrast to bold-leaved plants. Naturalizes well in cool woodland settings, adapting well to dry shade conditions when established. Semi-evergreen.
- OverviewLight Needs:Full shadeWatering Needs:Water regularly - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.Average Landscape Size:Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, spreading wider.
- DetailBotanical Pronunciation:pol-LIST-ik-um say-TI-fe-rumPlant type:FernDeciduous/evergreen:Semi-evergreenGrowth habit:SpreadingGrowth rate:ModerateAverage landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, spreading wider.Foliage color:GreenBlooms:Prized for foliage; does not flower.Garden styleCottageDesign IdeasThis is an excellent hardy Fern that takes colder climates by dying back with frost. Plant under trees, in dark corners and shaded alcoves. Also works well in light-challenged atriums and courtyards. As a North American native, it's the perfect easy Fern for woodland and wild gardens.Companion PlantsSolomon's Seal (Polygonatum); Columbine (Aquilegia); Hosta (Hosta); Lungwort (Pulmonaria); Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)
- CareCare InformationEasily grown in fertile, well-drained soils. Water deeply and regularly during first growing season to establish an extensive root system. Once established, reduce frequency; water more often in sandy soils. Feed regularly during growing season. Cut back old, faded fronds when new growth begins in spring.Pruning time: spring.Light Needs:Full shadeWatering Needs:Water regularly - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.
- History & LoreHistory:This genus of ferns known collectively as "holly" ferns are so named for their sometimes prickly foliage. The genus was classified by German botanist Albrecht Roth, 1757-1834, who named it from the Greek for many rows, to describe the pattern of sori on the backs of the leaves. Many of the ferns in this contemporary classifications were formally know under genus Aspidium. This species is native to most regions of the world except the Arctic. It formerly went by the names Polypodium setiferum by Pehr Forskal, 1736-1768 of Sweden, and Polystichum aculeatum as well as other synonyms throughout the references. But it was Austrian Heinrich Woynar, 1865-1917 who made the final classification. Polystichum setiferum fern is native to Europe, particularly the southern, western and central lowlands.