Polystichum munitum, Sword Fern, Pacific Northwest Native Plants, Oregon Native Ferns, Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Portland
Polystichum munitum, Sword Fern, Pacific Northwest Native Plants, Oregon Native Ferns, Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Portland
Polystichum munitum, Sword Fern, Pacific Northwest Native Plants, Oregon Native Ferns, Sparrowhawk Native Plants, Portland

Sword Fern

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Polystichum munitum
  • Size at maturity: 2-5' tall, 2-4' wide
  • Canopy layer: small shrub
  • Light requirements: full shade, part sun/part shade
  • Moisture requirements: moist to dry soil
  • Growth rate: medium
  • Special features: evergreen

Western Sword Fern is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns occurring along the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska south to southern California, and also inland east to southeastern British Columbia, northern Idaho and western Montana, with isolated populations in interior northern British Columbia, the Black Hills in South Dakota, and on Guadalupe Island off Baja California. The favored habitat of this fern is the understory of moist coniferous forests at low elevations. It grows best in a well-drained acidic soil of rich humus and small stones. Sword ferns are very tough, and can survive occasional dry periods once established. (EMSWCD, 2019)

Photo Credits 1 & 2: Tara Lemezis

Photo Credit 3: "File:Polystichum munitum Cougar Mountain.jpg" by MPF is licensed under CC BY 2.0