• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Full shade
    Watering Needs:
    Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, spreading wider.
    Key Feature:
    Woodland Garden Plant
    Prized for foliage.
  • Detail
    Botanical Pronunciation:pol-LIST-ik-um say-TI-fe-rum
    Plant type:Fern
    Growth habit:Spreading
    Growth rate:Moderate
    Average landscape size:Moderate growing; reaches 2 to 3 ft. tall, spreading wider.
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Prized for foliage.
    Design 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)
  • Care
    Care Information
    Easily grown in fertile, humusy, well-drained soils. Water regularly during the first growing season to establish root system. Once established, prefers evenly moist but not soggy soils; tolerates drier conditions. Feed regularly during growing season. Cut back old, faded fronds when new growth begins to emerge in spring.Pruning time: spring.
    Light Needs:
    Light needs: Full Shade
    Full shade
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: Moderate
    Water regularly to maintain evenly moist soil - weekly, or more.
  • History & Lore
    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.