Photo by Friends of the High Line
The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.
This week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.
Polystichum polyblepharum, the Korean tassel fern, is an evergreen fern native to Japan and Korea. This fern has a vase-shaped growth habit, reaching two feet tall and two feet wide.
The botanical name Polystichum polyblepharum describes the attributes of the species. The genus Polystichyum means “many rows,” and describes the shape of sori, the spore-producing areas, along fertile fronds. The specific epithet polyblepharum means “many eyelashes,” and refers to the bristles found on the mid-veins and stems.
In spring, the fiddle heads begin to unfurl and flatten, forming shiny dark green fronds. The Korean tassel fern does best in dappled to full shade – the fronds will burn easily in direct summer sunlight. In the fall and winter, the fronds stay green long after frost.
The best location for this fern is a woodland garden that offers a moist soil rich in organic matter. Korean tassel fern is extremely easy to care for in the right location. It is deer- and rabbit-resistant with no serious insect or disease problems, although crown rot can be an issue in poor-draining soils.
WHERE TO SEE THIS PLANT
You can see the Korean tassel fern below the Falcone Flyover, on the High Line between West 25th and 27th Street.
Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line’s most important gardening projects – become a member of Friends of the High Line today!