Hard Shield fern
Polystichum aculeatum

Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Polystichum (pol-IS-tick-um) (Info)
Species: aculeatum (ah-kew-lee-AY-tum) (Info)

Category:

Ferns

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade

Full Shade

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From spores

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Sumter, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On May 9, 2006, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

This fern is native to Britain and grows in alkaline soils, also in moist places on rocks. It does however tolerate a wide range of soil types. My soil is acidic, it is growing in a raised bed around a tree with added leafy compost and free draining soil. It tolerates hot, dry spells and is a quick to grow, easy fern.

It is evergreen, but I remove the fronds at the end of winter as they mostly bend at the base by then, making way for the new fronds which make an attractive vase shape.

It has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society AGM.