Native Plant of the Month: Sword Fern

Photo of Sword Fern.

Common Name: Sword Fern

Binomial Name: Polystichum munitum

Soil Type: rich, well‐drained soil

Sunlight: partial to full shade

Form: upright and spreading

Foliage: evergreen

Fruit/Flower: none

Sword ferns can be found in any Pacific Northwest forest understory as they do best in shady conditions. Found in zones from California to Alaska these hardy plants are easy to grow and take little to no maintenance (Removing dead fronds is the only upkeep really needed). Named sword Fern because of the dagger shaped leaflets and upright growth. The sword fern can reach up to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide in the right conditions and may get as many as 100 fronds from the base. This plant does nicely in shady flower beds and in woodland settings, pretty much anywhere it can get proper shading and good drainage.