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Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern)

Western Sword Fern, Sword Fern, Giant Holly Fern, Aspidium munitum

AGM Award
Polystichum munitum, Western Sword Fern, Sword Fern, Giant Holly Fern, Aspidium munitum, Evergreen Fern, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade
Polystichum munitum, Western Sword Fern, Sword Fern, Giant Holly Fern, Aspidium munitum, Evergreen Fern, Shade plants, shade perennial, plants for shade

Majestic and weather-resistant, award-winning Polystichum munitum (Western Sword Fern) is a robust evergreen fern forming a shapely, arching mound of long, narrowly lance-shaped, lustrous, dark green fronds. Each leaflet is dagger-shaped, with toothed edges and a base reminiscent of a sword hilt. The lush swordlike foliage can count up to 75-100 fronds on mature plants. They remain lush and fresh-looking throughout the season. Easily grown and versatile, Western Sword Fern is particularly beautiful as a specimen and most impressive in drifts in a woodland garden. Long-lasting when cut for arrangements.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society for its outstanding qualities
  • Grows up to 2-4 ft. tall and wide (60-120 cm).
  • A part shade to full shade lover, it is best grown in organically rich, moist, well-drained soils. It will grow in full sun if watered regularly in summer. Will tolerate dry shade and poorer soil once established. Protect crowns from excessive winter wet.
  • This plant is a great choice for shady beds and borders, groundcovers, underplanting of roses and shrubs, cottage gardens, or woodland gardens.
  • Virtually pest and disease free. Rabbit and deer resistant.
  • Dead or damaged fronds may be removed as necessary.
  • Propagate by sowing spores as soon as ripe, division of rhizomes in spring or by bulbils in fall
  • Native from California to Alaska and Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A3
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteridaceae
Genus Polystichum
Common names Sword Fern, Western Sword Fern, Fern
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spacing 24" - 48"
(60cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas Fern)
Polystichum polyblepharum (Japanese Tassel Fern)
Polystichum tsussimense (Korean Rock Fern)
Polystichum setiferum ‘Pulcherrimum Bevis’ (Soft Field Fern)
Polystichum setiferum (Divisilobum Group) ‘Herrenhausen’ (Soft Field Fern)
Polystichum setiferum (Soft Field Fern)

Recommended Companion Plants

Abies koreana (Korean Fir)
Lamium maculatum (Spotted Dead Nettle)
Rhododendron ‘English Roseum’
Hakonechloa macra (Hakone Grass)
Hosta (Plantain Lily)
Astilbe
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A3
Plant Type Ferns
Plant Family Dryopteridaceae
Genus Polystichum
Common names Sword Fern, Western Sword Fern, Fern
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spread 2' - 4'
(60cm - 120cm)
Spacing 24" - 48"
(60cm - 120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Pacific Northwest, South Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Traditional Garden, Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Not sure which Polystichum (Shield Fern) to pick?
Compare Now

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