Cyrtomium fortunei ‘Clivicola’
With fronds that resemble holly branches, the Holly Fern is a distinctive evergreen fern with pale foliage that can thrive in the deepest shade so long as the soil is moist.
The ‘Clivicola’ cultivar, also sometimes known as ‘Clivicolum’, can be differentiated from the species by its more compact size, more horizontally arching fronds, and its slightly larger and more lanceolate, light yellow-green pinnae.
Native to temperate Asia, Cyrtomium fortunei ‘Clivicola’ can often be found in Japan, growing in thickets on hills and smaller mountains, and in China where it often grows on the sides of damp, shady roadways and ditches.
The genus name ‘Cyrtomium’ comes from the Greek ‘kyrtos’ which means ‘arched’, which refers to the fern’s arched habit, whilst the specific epithet ‘fortunei’, and its common names Fortune’s Holly Fern and Fortune’s Cyrtomium, honours the Scottish horticulturist Robert Fortune.
Care & Size Guidance
This fern does best in part shade to full shade.
Holly Fern can be susceptible to root rot, fungal spots and scale.
Cyrtomium fortunei 'Clivicola' Garden Design
The Holly Fern features stiff, upright fronds which each have 12 to 26 pairs of stiff, leathery sickle shaped yellow-green pinnae.
This fern is a perfect choice for adding some lighter coloured, geometrically complex interest to a shaded border. The fronds grow outwards in every direction and overlap, creating striking geometrical patterns which complement the softer textures of many woodland plants suitable for similarly darker, moist areas of the garden which this fern is great to pair with.