Soft Shield fern
The form of the ‘Soft Shield Fern’ is likely what many would picture if asked to imagine a fern, with fronds that form a truly iconic shape and colour.
Polystichum setiferum is a tufted evergreen to semi-evergreen fern with soft green, lush double pinnate foliage on lance shaped fronds.
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Native to Southern and Western Europe ,it is most abundant in Ireland, southwestern England, western France and northwest Iberia, where it thrives in the mix of mild winters and moist summers.
The stalks and most midribs are covered with particularly attractive cinnamon-brown scales. Its fronds curve outwards from the centre of the plant, creating a spectacularly striking form.
This hardy outdoor fern makes a striking addition to the shaded border of any UK garden.
Care & Size Guidance
Polystichum setiferum does best in part to full shade in fertile, moist, and importantly, well-drained soil.
Too much sun can cause the fronds to yellow, and its best to cut down the fronds around February to March before the new fronds emerge.
Consider planting the rhizome at an angle to help combat the likelihood of crown root problems which sometimes occur in poorly draining soils.