Polystichum acrostichoides provides green ground cover through winter. The evergreen plant is adaptable and hardy. Its common name, "Christmas fern," denotes its year-round greenery. It is easy to grow and requires little care. P. acrostichoides grows best in full to part shade and prefers well-drained soil, as it can rot in poorly drained soil.
P. acrostichoides is a member of the Dryopteridaceae family, also known as the wood fern family. It has a widespread range, and is native to the contiguous United States. Our gardeners have seen it growing in the natural areas of New York and New Jersey alongside Carex pensylvanica, which makes a great companion plant. When asked about the fern, one gardener immediately mentioned the beauty of the fiddleheads, or curled tops of new ferns. When the fiddleheads first appear they are covered in a white fuzz. Another name for this plant part is a "crozier," the same name for the hooked staff a bishop carries. The crozier is comparable to a bishop's staff or a shepherd's crook- the furled ends of the fern call to mind similar images
P. acrostichoides has an arching, clumping habit. Its glossy, evergreen foliage makes the Christmas fern a lovely choice year round. Its hardiness and adaptability make it a pleasing and practical choice for the native woodland garden.
Plant in part to full shade in moist, but well-drained soil.
WHERE TO FIND THIS PLANT:
Gansevoort Woodlands and the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover between West 25th and West 27th streets.
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 500 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. Every week we share one of our gardeners' current favorites with you.
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