Garden Design


Plant of the Month

December 1, 2020 by James Cooper

During the Spring and Summer months evergreen plants play a supporting role to the more showy flowering varieties, now it is their time to shine and bring life to an otherwise dreary landscape.  This month we are championing the beauty and usefulness of an evergreen fern; the Polystichum munitum.

JJ Garden Design Suffolk plant of the month

Polystichum munitum

The Polystichum munitum or Western Sword Fern is native to America where it is widely used as a low maintenance groundcover plant for woodland settings.  If given ideal conditions it will reach a metre in height and width, although the specimen we have seems content to remain much smaller.

With stiffly upright lance shaped, dark green leaves this fern is sure to be a conversation piece particulary given that it can last through the most severe winter weather.  Grow in fertile, humus rich soil which has good drainage in full or partial shade.

We like to grow it in a mixed shady border with Ophiopogon, Pachysandra and Epimedium.

Considering it’s merits this fern deserves to be more widely grown, well worth searching out.