Western Sword Fern

Polystichum munitum

Sword Fern
Spring growth -not fully extended
Sword Fern
Ten days later

The Western Sword Fern is a very common plant in Western North America. It is an evergreen and popular for floral decorations as it is durable and reliably green. Cut fronds can be kept in cold storage for extended periods of time. It generally grows in a clump and does well in shaded forest floors. It's not too hard to transplant and does nicely in deeply shaded landscaping, though it will grow in the open as well. The fresh fronds seemingly 'unroll' as they grow in the spring as shown be the first photo.

Once the fronds are full length they are completely unrolled and come to a point. The fresh ones are fairly light in green color, but get darker with time. Some darker ones from last year are shown on the bottom of the second photo.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
- - Updated 06/01/2008
- - Updated 05/22/2008