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Native Plant Guide

Information and Services for King County, Washington

sword fern

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Sword fern
© Greg Rabourn
Sword fern (enlarge)
Sword fern unfurling

Polystichum munitum

Evergreen Groundcover

Height: 3 ft.

Availability: High

Growing ease: High

Moisture req.: dry - moist

Exposure req.: part shade - shade


Plant description:

This is the king of northwest ferns. Its stately appearance and adaptability for almost any site condition, make it one of the most usefull of all native plants. The clump of upright, evergreen leaves has an architectural quality and can be used as a structural element in almost any kind of planting. It can also be used as a ground cover. Does best in organic soils but can stand the most acidic conditions found under cedar and redwoods. As older fronds die they provide excellent amphibian habitat around their base.

Keywords: broad, drought tolerant, ferns, fire-resistant

Articles that mention this plant: Deer resistant plants, Native plants for deep shade

Plans that use this plant:Dry, part shade, Dry, shady, Moist, part shade, Moist, shady