Christmas Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides

Christmas Fern

The Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) is a very common eastern North American native, and is especially loved because it is evergreen even in severe winters.

This is an adaptable species that will grow in almost any situation – shady, rich or poor soil, rubble or compost etc. – but surprisingly, it does not thrive west of the Rockies.

Why “Christmas”? Because it remained green around the holiday season, it was once widely used as a Christmas decoration. Others say the term refers to the pinnae which supposedly looks like Santa’s boot…but we think that requires a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

The plant height varies from 1 to 2 feet, and will gradually colonize an area even in poor soil. Christmas Fern is a top choice for gardens in Zones 3 through 9.

Habit: Spreading

Range: Zones 3 - 9 Learn more about zones


Type: Evergreen

Collection(s): Hardy, Native

Casa Flora Number: 73010