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Polystichum polyblepharum

Pronunciation: Pol-is-tick-um pol-ee-blef-ar-um
Family: Dryopteridaceae (wood fern family)
Common Name: Japanese tassel fern, tassel fern, holly fern, japanese lace fern
Plant Type:
  • epiphyte, terrestrial
Height to: 3'
Width to: 18"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full shade
  • part sun
Bloom Description: The rachis (main axis of the frond) is covered with thin brown scales. Tassel fern grows in a luxuriant shuttlecock clump that gets about 2-3 in (5. 1-7. 6 cm) tall on an erect rhizome that retains the scars of old rachi. The croziers (or "fiddleheads") begin their unfurling like any other fern, but then they reverse direction and droop down and backward like a tassel. They stay that way for a while, then resume unfurling in the normal manner. The spores are borne in rows on the underside of the fronds.
Soil Type: Humus rich, moist, a bit drier in winter
Propagation: Divide the root clump in spring to propagate this fern.
Native to: Japan and southern korea
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - some say the japanese tassel fern is one of the most beautiful ferns in cultivation. Use this evergreen beauty in a shady border or woodland garden where its shiny foliage adds luster to an otherwise subdued environment. The thick, luxurious foliage arising from a single rhizome reminds one of a small cycad.
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