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Featured Plant: Christmas Fern

January 2, 2019

Polystichum acrostichoides, also known as the Christmas fern, is a North American evergreen fern. Its native range includes Nova Scotia to Wisconsin and south from Florida to Texas. It is commonly found in organically rich eastern North American woodlands. On the High Line it is easily identified in winter with its shiny dark green fronds, which can be seen in the woodland understories contrasting against the gravel and/or snow.

A tea made from the root was used by Native Americans as a fever reducer and as a cure for stomachaches. Historically used in holiday decorations, this welcome touch of greenery in the chilly December landscape is why this plant is commonly referred to as the Christmas fern.

On the High Line between Gansevoort and 12th Streets, and between 25th and 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.

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.

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TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.