Polystichum – Shield Fern –
grows 1-2′ feet tall and 2-3′ feet wide
There are about 200 species of usually evergreen, terrestrial ferns in this genus. They occur in a range of habitats, from alpine cliffs to tropical forest worldwide. They are grown for their often lance shaped, pinnate to 3 pinnate fronds, which arise from erect or short creeping rhizomes, usually in shapely, shuttlecock crowns. The pinnae are sometimes lobed, each lobe ending in a sharp point or bristle. Sori are borne on the undersides of the fronds, each usually protected by a rounded indusium. Grow in a rock garden, fernery, or well drained border, or as a groundcover in woodland setting.
Grow in fertile, humus rich, well drained soil in deep or partial shade. Remove dead fronds before new ones unfurl. Divide in spring.