General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm)
Plant Spread: 12 to 24 inches (30-61cm)
Leaves: Good fall color
Unusual foliage color
Evergreen
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Division

Image
Common names
  • Christmas Fern
  • Dagger Fern
  • Polystic Faux-acrostiche

Photo Gallery
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-03-24
Location: Kentucky
Date: Spring
Location: Sandhills Horticultural Gardens Southern Pines, NC (Atkins hillside garden)
Date: January 27, 2023
Christmas Fern #364; RAB p. 40, 11-5-1. LHB p. 87 , "Greek for ma

Missing Fluffy
Location: Hiking Trail In Fairfax :-)
Photo by Hamwild
Photo by Hamwild
Location: Kentucky
Date: 2024-04-15
a mirror image of itself
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-11-10
In early November, after a hot, dry summer.
Location: Kentucky
Date: Spring
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-06-01
the orange-bronze growth of the sori (spore structures) under the
Location: Nottingham Park in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2008-08-01

Photo Courtesy of Homestead Farms Nursery. Used with Permission.
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: White Pine nature preserve, Chatham county, North Carolina
Date: 2023-02-10
Christmas Fern #364; RAB p. 40, 11-5-1. LHB p. 87 , "Greek for ma

Date: 2021-08-24

Date: 2018-10-15
Location: Fairfax, VA | May, 2023
Location: Enterprise, Al. 36330
Date: 2014-04-17
Location: Fairfax, VA | May, 2023
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2022-06-01
two plants I planted at a corner of my house
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2014-04-14
Emerging spring growth
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2013-06-01
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2015-05-14

Photo courtesy of: Tom Potterfield
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2014-05-19
Photo by robertduval14
Location: Ray Wiegand's Nursery, Macomb, MI
Date: 2010-09-09
Location: Ray Wiegand's Nursery, Macomb, MI
Date: 2010-09-09
Location: Ray Wiegand's Nursery, Macomb, MI
Date: 2010-09-09
Location: Ray Wiegand's Nursery, Macomb, MI
Date: 2010-09-09

Courtesy Crownsville Nursery
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: Enterprise, Al. 36330
Date: 2015-04-10

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2015-02-10
Winter foliage

Photo Courtesy of Lazy S'S Farm Nursery.
  • Uploaded by Joy
This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jun 1, 2022 3:02 PM concerning plant:
    This is a common fern species in eastern North America. Its native range is from Nova Scotia to Minnesota down to central Florida to east Texas and some into Mexico, growing in rich rocky woods and stream banks. It is not tolerant of heavy clay soil or of standing water or of much strong sun. Its fronds are singly compound and not doubly compound, similar to Boston Fern kind of fronds. The separate fertile fronds are longer and bear the orange-bronze or brown fuzzy growth of the sori (spore producing structures) at the tips of the fronds and under the leaves. This species really is a clumping fern that does not spread out from any rhizomes like crazy, but the clumps do get bigger with time. it is supposed to attract Ruffed Grouse and it acts as cover for birds in winter as it is evergreen, though the fronds fall down by late winter or early spring. It gets its name of Christmas in that it is green at Christmas time. It is commonly sold at many conventional and native plant nurseries.
  • Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Dec 17, 2012 10:53 AM concerning plant:
    Sunlight Gardens: Quite common in the woods of eastern North America, Christmas Fern occurs where the soil is rich but well-drained. It looks like an upright deep green Boston Fern with fronds up to 24 inches long. The shiny leaves are evergreen and form neat clumps. This is a good one for shady foundation plantings. And once established, Christmas Fern is quite drought tolerant.
  • Posted by tabbycat (Youngsville, LA - Zone 9b) on Oct 27, 2018 6:40 PM concerning plant:
    A neighbor gave me a start of this nice looking fern a few years ago. I planted it in a dappled sun location under a tree off my patio that gets regular watering. In 2 years it took over that whole flowerbed and became a nuisance, as some plants do. I decided to pull it all up and keep a plant growing only in a pot. Well it's 2 years since then and I found a couple of small plants there again this summer, I think from rootstock that survived 2 winters hidden under leaf mulch.. They have been relocated with the others in a larger pot for safekeeping.
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