Plant Pick:  Evergreen Ferns

When bright colors disappear from the landscape, there’s nothing like an upright evergreen fern to catch your eye.  By spring, these have been flattened by snow, but new growth emerges in May.  I’d like to highlight three of my favorites:

Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) is a native woodlander, common to rocky soil.  With a leathery surface, it creeps slowly to form a broad mound with multiple dark green fronds.  Easy to grow and beautiful to combine with gems of the shade such as Tiarella or Epimedium.

Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) has amazing coppery new growth emerging from glossy greenery. A red color appears in fall to provide lovely contrast.

Polypody Fern (Polypodiumvirginianum) is a sort of miniature Christmas fern, although botanists classify it in a different genus.  It’s happiest growing in rock crevices where it may form colonies.  Also grows well in good garden soil in shady areas.

Fall is a great time to get some ferns established in your garden!

Polystichum acrostichoides Christmas Fern

Tiarella cordifolia

Dryopteris erythrosora Autumn Fern

Polypodium virginianum

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