Polystichum munitum (Western Swordfern)


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Plant Description: An evergreen fern sprouting in a tight clump from large woody underground rhizomes. Upright, dark green compound leaves are divided once pinnately with serrated edges and bristly tips. Two rows of reproductive sori (cluster structures producing and containing spores) are found on the underside of fertile fronds and produce light yellow spores. Leaves are excellent for bouquets. 

  • Height: 3 ft
  • Width: 5 ft
  • Watering Needs: Let dry between waterings
  • Sun Needs: Partial - Full Shade
  • Soil Needs: Moist, humus rich soil
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This Willamette Valley native is found on wooded shady slopes in moist coniferous forests at low to mid elevations up to 5250 ft. We recommend this fern for woodland gardens. Not only does it support habitat, it also helps to prevent soil erosion. 

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