Christmas Fern

Botanical Name: Polystichum acrostichoides

Brief Description and Notes: This is a beautiful evergreen fern native to our region. They are perhaps easier to identify in winter when the deciduous ferns have lost their green leaves. Young “fiddleheads” emerge in spring. 

Where To Look For It: Moist but well-draining shade

Ornamental Value: Winter interest; clumping ground-cover (not as carpet-like as other types of ferns)

Ecological Value & Roles: Attracts Ruffed Grouse; foliage can offer shelter and sometimes food for various small insects and critters

Edibility and Other Human Use: While fiddleheads of several other types of ferns are edible, this is NOT one of the ferns recommended for human consumption. 

 

Sources:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center