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Plant Details

Polystichum acrostichoides

Christmas Fern

Scientific Name:

Polystichum acrostichoides

Genus:

Polystichum

Species Epithet:

acrostichoides

Common Name:

Christmas Fern

Plant Type

Fern/Clubmoss/Allies

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Dryopteridaceae (Wood-Fern Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

1-3 ft.

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Habitat Description:

“Moist to dry forests and woodlands, especially slopes, ravines, and small stream bottomlands” (Weakley 2015). Common throughout NC.

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Evergreen

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Recommended and Available

Fertile fronds

An evergreen fern, common throughout the state. The smaller leaflets in the upper portion of the fronds are fertile and have brown spores on the undersides.

image

Ann Weaver, taken outside of Wake Forest on a north-facing site at the edge of the woods.

Close-up of frond

The leaflets have a characteristic lobe at the base and a bristle at the tip of each tooth.

image

Paynter, Wilmington, July, 2014

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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