Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Korean Tassel Fern, Japanese Lace Fern, Holly Fern, Bristle Fern
Polystichum polyblepharum

Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Polystichum (pol-IS-tick-um) (Info)
Species: polyblepharum (pol-ee-BLEF-ar-um) (Info)

Synonym:Polystichum setosum
Synonym:Aspidium aculeatum var. japonicum
Synonym:Aspidium polyblepharum
Synonym:Polystichum aculeatum var. japonicum

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Partial to Full Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From spores

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 32 photos.
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9 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BayAreaTropics On Nov 15, 2012, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Semi common fern..sometimes a few years can go by without seeing one for sale. Mine is years and years old...and is recovering from too much drought aka "I forgot too water it for too long". Attractive,looks exotic but is very hardy. I'm surprised nobody posted a pic of one with the new fronds "tasseling". I wish I had more...and will water more too!

Positive chuck7701 On Mar 10, 2011, chuck7701 from McKinney, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Love the gracefulness of this fern. It is a tough fern, and full shade and good moisture is probably the best condition. In Zone 8 it might be a little too warm in the summer, seems to struggle, probably does best in cooler climates.

Evergreen, but does not like severe cold and ice, comes back after a die off in the winter.

Definitely agree with keeping it moist all the time. Past few droughts, hot summer and not enough water has mine fading away.

Positive GreeneLady On Apr 2, 2009, GreeneLady from Oak Island, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I live in zone 8a This fern does like to be watered on a regular basis, and I think part the reason it does so well for me is because it gets regular drip irrigation at the roots.

I really like the gracefullness of these ferns. They look pretty next to my blue eye grass. Will post a picture if it ever stops raining here!

Definately Evergreen.

Positive Cretaceous On Mar 28, 2007, Cretaceous from El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Polystichum polyblepharum has thrived here in zone 9b, and once established it can grow quite large in size. (I think that this fern is a lot more attractive once it is larger).

Requires space to grow, some shade, acidic soil, and to be kept moist. Commonly available in nurseries locally. Native to Japan, Taiwan, and China.

Positive greenkat On Mar 5, 2007, greenkat from Crofton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tassel Fern takes the Mid-Atlantic region's frosty winters and hot, humid summers without any problems. I planted this fern two years ago near a north facing wall and it gets no sun at all in the coldest winter months. It has survived a heavy, wet snow that broke all of it's fronds and was, most recently, solidly frozen in an ice storm. I have not had any problems with pests. Slow growing and non-spreading. Great fern!

Positive Shadyfolks On Oct 16, 2004, Shadyfolks from Chesterland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have to agree it is a great fern to own and easy to grow. It is hardy in Z5. The fronds are a beautiful shade of green and are glossy which also give a different texture to the shade garden.

Positive henryr10 On Oct 11, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

This fern is Evergreen here in both our warmest most protected areas, which push into Zone 7 and our normal Zone 6 areas.

I don't cut the fronds back as I think the older foliage gives it a more natural 'wild' look.
They also help to keep the plant more moist as the dying older fronds act as natural mulch.
Bought 4 as 3" pots they are now well over 15" across.
We don't baby them and have never lost one in three years.

If you've ever wished you could grow Tree Ferns in your zone deprived area...... this is about as close as it gets.

Positive palmbob On Oct 9, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a really beautiful fern, and though I have success growing it -doesn't take much effort here- except in trying to keep it looking good in hot weather. Many of the leaves will shrivel in the intense heat and make the fern look ratty and sad if you can't keep it moist on those hot, dry days (gets to 110F here). Lots of overhead protection (dense shade) helps but that may not be enough. Best to grow this fern a little closer to the coast or in a more temperate climate than one finds in inland southern California.

Positive tjsangel003 On Oct 8, 2004, tjsangel003 from Warren, OH wrote:

This beautiful fern grows to 2 feet wide, excellent for shady flower bed. Keep moist at all times. Tough fern, not as delicate as others. It grows well in my zone 5 garden. Excellent for beginners.


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

Juneau, Alaska
El Cerrito, California
Hayward, California
Pleasant Hill, California
Tarzana, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Pompano Beach, Florida
Athens, Georgia
Harlem, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Plainfield, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Ewing, Kentucky
Crofton, Maryland
Easton, Maryland
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Mount Olive, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (2 reports)
Chesterland, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Warren, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Blacksburg, Virginia
Leesburg, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Charleston, West Virginia

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