Matteuccia struthiopteris ‘The King’

First rate, cold hardy and excellently adapted to permanently wet sites in part shade to shade. This larger form of the Ostrich Fern forms a large crown in time. It supports very vertical soft green fronds to 3′ tall. In time the clumps increase in size. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular summer irrigation. Creek margins, bogs, the edge of ponds. Completely deciduous in winter. Often turns showy russet orange before dying down. Returns in mid spring. Loathes drought and avoid hot sun. Opulent fern and a great selection. Moderate deer resistance.

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Pellaea rotundifolia

Button fern from New Zealand is a very pretty, symmetrical evergreen fern for the most protected sites. Forms an arching rosette of round leaves lining wiry stems. New growth is ochre changing to dark green. To 9″ tall and about 1′ wide in time. Part shade to shade in rich well drained soil with regular summer moisture. Protect from subfreezing wind by placing it under the branches of taller shrubs or near a north facing wall. Excellent houseplant. Slow to increase in size- be patient. Cover with remay or leaves if temperatures threaten to drop below 20ºF. Great performance at the Oregon Coast. Moderately deer resistant.

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Polypodium glyceryrrhiza

Our native Licorice Fern that has a backwards season. It emerges all fresh and happy with the first cool weather and rains in autumn and persists that way until hot weather takes hold, then it quietly (and cleanly) disappears. Forms spreading colonies on any light surface including the vertical slopes of rocks and trees. The base of the plant forms an interconnected series of rhizomes that cling to anything. It escapes all drought and heat by summer dormancy. Neat trick. If you detach the fronds and bite into the base of the petiole it delivers a strong anise/licorice flavor. This remarkable plant should be common in living walls and green roofs that would require no supplemental irrigation- and actually thrive and look healthy. Excellent performance in the ground in rich, well drained soil. Water as they say is irrelevant. Highly deer resistant. Oregon native plant.

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Polypodium guttatum

Fun little hardy evergreen polypody that has perfectly vertical fronds that rise to just 6″ high. In time it forms dense colonies. Very fun to grow in part shade to shade. A great evergreen texture to repeat in a woodland. Excellent appearance even after the most brutal winter. Surprise. To 2′ wide in rich, hummusy soil and regular summer water. Apply an annual application of mulch right over the top of the leaves each spring to feed and hold moisture . High deer resistance.

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Polypodium scouleri

Coast Polypody or creeping leather fern is an evergreen colony forming plant that is native from British Columbia south along the coast to even the Guadelupe Island off of Baja. It makes its home on logs, rocks, the ground almost anywhere it finds adequate moisture and shade. During the summer it will take a surprising amount of dryness but we recommend light consistent irrigation for the best appearance and to spur multiplication. Fronds to 10″ long with rounded lobes. Excellent garden plant, grows very well in rich to average soil as well. Good year round appearance. A native fern that should be grown all the time. Great in winter containers- excellent winter appearance with little maintenance. Protect from hot sun. Highly deer resistant.  Oregon native plant. 

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Polystichum neolobatum

Relatively new fern that excites us. Asian Saber Fern ( doesn’t that sound lovely- a little Klingon in the Dryopteraceae). Evergreen fern with really pretty glossy intricately serrated fronds. To 2′ x  2′ for part shade to shade in rich, moisture retentive sites. So far its been a vigorous adaptable and really nice looking fern for us. Excellent woodland appearance- in fact it looks good year round. The arctic winter of 2017 left this glossy creature completely unfazed. We like that. Should be invaluable in winter containers. Pest and disease free plant. Highly deer resistant. Spreads to form multiple rosettes.

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Polystichum polyblepharum

Immensely handsome glossy evergreen fern with intricate large leaves Forms a large rosette up to 2 1/2′ wide and just 14″ tall. Small hairs line the stems and give this fern its specific epithet of blepharum – eyelashes. Known as Eyelash fern for this trait. Full shade to part shade in rich, moisture retentive soil. Regular summer water. Mass as a shady ground cover  or bed underneath old established shrubs. Year round good looking with no damage from the hardest winters. Easy. High deer resistance.

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Polystichum setiferum var. divisilobum

Soft Shield fern is native to Alaska- well points north in general. That means its bone hardy to cold but its also a fantastic evergreen fern for dry shade in our region. Finely divided fronds taper to 2′ long. The central stem is a soft furry brown- good contrast. Spreading colony creating fern to 3′ across. It has the unique habit of vivipary. It makes small new plants spontaneously right off the frond. Useful. Good looking appearance year round. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular water to establish. Incredibly drought adapted when older – as long as its in shade. High deer resistance. May be cut back hard in early spring to refreshen. Grows very quickly.

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Polystichum x dycei

What do you get when you cross a Tasmanian tree fern with a cold hardy European native fern? You get this spectacular evergreen that forms large single rosettes with flaring intricate glossy green leaves. Evergreen and not injured by our coldest winters. To 3′ across eventually in part shade to dense shade. Rich, moisture retentive soil with regular water. Great in borders, among Rhododendrons in containers. Fantastic in winter containers. High deer resistance. Takes dry conditions when very established.

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Pyrrosia hastata

Three fingered felt fern. This clump forming evergreen fern has been a fantastic performer in the ground in the Portland area. The large sage green leaves have three finger like lobes and are held horizontally at the ends of 6″ stems. Forms a dense clump that expands slowly in rich, well drained soil with light but consistent summer water.  Part shade to dense shade and it will tolerate quite dry shade when established. An excellent fern for planters and containers in hopelessly dark dry places (usually with a few dead or dwindling plants) this won’t do that. Excellent in containers with great winter appearance. Its been hardy in the coldest winters in my garden- below 10ºF. (Sometimes rated as zone 6…um no). Slow to increase- be diligent with water. Makes an admirable houseplant. Moderate deer resistance.  Taiwan.

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