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Polystichum munitum

Polystichum munitum



About this cultivar:

Polystichum munitum is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns. The specific epithet 'munitum' in the scientific name means 'armed' and the common named is 'swordfern', not sure why..... The preferred habitat of this fern is the understory of moist coniferous woodlands, it is very resilient and survives occasional droughts.

Variable in size, the dark green fronds of this fern can grow 50 to 180 centimetres tall in a tight clump spreading out radially from a round base. I think the effect is quite majestic!

Unsuprisingly this fern has the RHS AGM, but it is not just great in the garden. Try using the fronds as, or in, cut flower displays. 

  • Position: Full shade, partial shade
  • Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Flowers: -
  • Other features: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Grows well in Ballyrobert, Woodland Plant, Dappled Shade or Full Shade Loving, Interesting Foliage or Fruit
  • Hardiness: H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Habit: Tufted, Clump forming
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Height: 50 - 180 cm (1.5 - 6 ft)
  • Spread: 45 - 100 cm (1.5 - 3.5 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, fern
  • Colour: Green
  • Goes well with: Shade

    About this genus:

    Polystichum is a large genus of 260 knows species of mostly evergreen ferns that occur around the world in a wide variety of habitats, but primarily in moist but well-drained, temperate woodlands. The highest species diversity is in eastern Asia, then the region from Mexico to Brazil, Africa, North America, and lowest in Europe.

    The genus name comes from the Greek words ‘polys’ meaning many and ‘stichos’ meaning in a row (in reference to its spore cases being in rows).

    In the garden these ferns produce some of the most elegant, easy-to-grow and garden worthy specimens of any fern genus. Many species are perfect for the partially shaded perennial border, rock garden, or as specimen plants. The stiff texture makes Polystichum fronds a popular decoration in floral arrangements and centrepieces. They pair well with woodland plants such as Primula, Hosta, and Helleborus.

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