An easy fern for areas with moist dappled shade, the Sword Fern has arching, rich evergreen fronds which together form a fountain of foliage.
Polystichum munitum develops spectacular and robust leathery fronds with toothed margins. It’s one of our favourite evergreen ferns because its both hardy and impressive, with imposing, arching fronds which taper to sword-like points.
Native to North America, from Alaska to Mexico where it lives on the forest floor, the Western Sword fern is well named: sword-shaped, verdant green fronds grow up to 90cm long are abundantly produced in loose shuttlecocks.
This North American fern is relatively rarely cultivated in Europe, and certainly deserves more widespread popularity in UK gardens.
Care & Size Guidance
Albeit fairly rarely cultivated, this fern is robust, easy and undemanding. Whilst it’s best in light to full shade, it’s a true workhorse of the Pacific Northwest where it’s well adapted to droughty summers, living in full sun in dry locations, all the way to the deep shade of cool woods under conifers.