Christmas fern is a wonderful addition to any shady woodland garden. This fern is evergreen; the fronds from the previous season come through the winter and then new fronds form and the old fronds die back. This keeps the fronds tidy throughout the year. It adds interest to the garden as the new spring fronds appear. If you wish, you can cut the old ones off when they turn brown for a neater appearance.
I use Christmas fern up against rocks. It makes the rocks and the garden appear more natural. Up against sidewalks, they help to lessen hard edges. This has to be done in shady locations so the soil doesn't dry out. My walk is made of wood, so this works well.
Christmas fern has very shiny fronds; this is a very interesting feature. You can plant it with spring ephemerals so when the flowers and plants have gone dormant you still have wonderful color in the garden. Some people use it as a ground cover, but it has a clumping form and will not spread like other ferns do. This can be a blessing if you hate chasing plants around your garden, Christmas fern stays put. When planting, consider that Christmas fern needs shade and well drained, moist soil.
Good companions include false solomon's seal, may apple, trilliums, bloodroot, toothwort, sessile bellwort, doll's eyes, and blue cohosh. For the fall, plant with woodland asters and blue stemmed goldenrod.
Polystitchum acrostichoides - Christmas fern
-Christmas fern is a beautiful evergreen fern
-Is a clumping fern
-The fronds are very shiny
-The name Christmas fern comes from the subleaflets that shaped like Christmas stockings
-Height: 1 to 2 feet
-Zone: 3 to 9