Western swordfern is closely related to Polystichum imbricans based on morphologic and electrophoretic analysis. Charles Torrey Simpson (1920) wrote: “the real glory of the hammock is the two species of Nephrolepis, one being the well-known 'Boston' fern.” According to Foster (1984) “[N. exaltata] could be seen in homes and public buildings almost everywher… © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Handsome, well-divided fronds with an upright form, a lance-shaped outline, and a leathery texture characterize this attractive sword fern. When the plant comes to maturity, we can say that the plant has completed its life cycle. The sword fern (Polystichum munitum) plant is a lush evergreen ground cover known for its bright green, sword-shaped fronds. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/interesting-western-sword-fern-70704.html It forms clumps as it grows. You’ll find the young fronds, or fiddleheads, appearing in early spring from their underground rhizomes with most plants eventually reaching 4 to 6 feet long. Fossil records of fern-like plants date back almost 400 million years ago. About Boston Ferns. Western sword fern is native to North America, growing all the way from Alaska to through California. 6cm; 12cm; 20cm. The sword fern can reach up to 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide in the right conditions and may get as many as 100 fronds from the base. Hardiness (USDA zones): 6-9 Size: 3' - 5' Size (cm): 91cm-152cm Height and Spread: Large - Over 3' in height or spread in 5 years Light Requirements: Sun tolerant, Deep shade tolerant Water Needs: Drought Tolerant Garden Use: Ground cover Origin: Canada, Mexico, North America, Pacific Northwest For instance, sword ferns make excellent ground cover plants. When planted on hillsides, they can be useful in preventing erosion. Erect sword fern can be seen many, many places doing quite nicely. All About Sword Ferns The sword fern (Polystichum munitum) plant is a lush evergreen ground cover known for its bright green, sword-shaped fronds. There are a great variety of ferns, most of which are perennials. The western sword fern is an evergreen plant belonging to the wood fern family, or the Dryopteridaceae. In 23 counties from the Gainesville area south, specimens of sword fern have been found and documented. Named sword Fern because of the dagger shaped leaflets and upright growth. Each frond, which can be several feet long, contains as many as 75 to 100 leaves, with rows of brown sporangia on the bottom. It grows in a tight clump but over time can become quite large. Its current distribution includes Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Kartesz, 1999). They can even thrive in sun when given plenty of moisture. Although most people prefer to grow them for ornamental purposes, they have other uses too. Planting takes place in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. Florida's native sword fern, also known as wild Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) (Figure 1) and giant sword fern (Nephrolepis biserrata) (Figure 2) were highly admired by early botanists, naturalists, and horticulturists (Small 1918a, b; Simpson 1920; Foster 1984). Facts About Sword Fern. The hole should be about twice as large as the root ball and it often helps to mix in some compost and other organic matter as well. The fossil record of fern-like plants starts almost 400 million years ago, and they are still with us today. But keep in mind that it also is a highly versatile and useful perennial fern for a home garden. Other The presence of these tubers alone is a distinct way to identify the species. Sword ferns transplant easily in the garden. Aug 18, 2017 - Explore Melanie Martin's board "Sword Fern", followed by 271 people on Pinterest. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. They are drought resistant and usually don’t require much in the way of water, except during the first year after planting when they should be kept evenly moist. It's often a tall plant that may reach five feet in height in suitable climates and habitats. They are easy to identify. The flat shape of the fronds means you can press and dry them easily, or you can use them in homemade candles or ink them and use them as stamps. Sword ferns perform best in moist shady conditions. It is also known as the “king of Northwest ferns” for its widespread populations in the Pacific Northwest, and the “Christmas fern” for the large number of fronds used each year in the making of holiday wreaths. In 23 counties from the Gainesville area south, specimens of sword fern have been found and documented. Their more serious applications have included cooking the rhizomes to cure diarrhea and rubbing them on nettle stings. You can mow it occasionally without harm to the plants, and it is a dependable ground cover in shade here, wherever there is woodsy soil. Evergreen. When sporophytes leave the frond and land on the ground and grow, they develop both male and female sex organs, the sperm and eggs of which each contain a half set of chromosomes. sword fern nephrolepis exaltata Like Nephrolepis cordifolia, this is a tropical species, but it grows larger (to 7 feet high and as wide) and has broader fronds (to 6in. Four sword fern species are native to Baranof Island, where Sitka is located, and are adapted to a variety of habitats and transplant well. Even home gardeners landscape with ferns because they add elegant greenery and timeless ease of care. Learning how to grow sword ferns will be easier if you know how you want to use them in the landscape. To make matters worse, they share a common name—sword fern! The western sword fern has leathery, pinnate leaves up to 5 feet in length, with alternate pinnae, or leaflets, that can be 6 inches long. The arching leaves are held semi-erect and the plant can form large clumps. These spores appear as brown spots, which are clustered together in groups. Species (common name, Latin name) Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)Range . Adaptable as a ground cover, an understory plant growing beneath shading trees or shrubs, or a statement piece in a container, the Western sword fern grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. Relationships: There are about 260 species of Polystichum worldwide with about 16 native to North America; and about 10 native to the Pacific Northwest. Nephrolepis cordifolia, or sword fern, is a plant that was introduced most likely for its ornamental attributes. Swordfern and Boston Fern Life Cycle. Identification. The frond’s underside holds sori ( a cluster of spore-containing structures) which produce yellow spores. Their upright fronds contain thin green leaves with sawtooth-leaflets. It is abundant and common in continuous populations in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Alaska. This plant does nicely in shady flower beds and in woodland settings, pretty much anywhere it can get proper shading and good drainage. This 2,309 square foot house sits on a 6,098 square foot lot and features 4 bedrooms and 2.75 bathrooms. Ferns, and similar plants, were a dominant plant species until about 230 million years ago. You’ll find the young fronds, or fiddleheads, appearing in early spring from their underground rhizomes with most plants eventually reaching 4 to 6 feet long. Each leaflet has serrated edges and two rows of spore-producing sori on the underside which look like round, yellowish spots. Also unlike leaves, fronds stay attached to the base of the plant even after dying, They must therefore be cut off early each spring before the new shoots, called fiddleheads, unfurl. The western sword fern is native to western North America and is known for its bright green, tapered, 2- to 3-foot-long (61- to 91-centimeter) fronds. The dark green fronds are shaped somewhat like a sword … Plant type. Once established in the garden, caring for sword ferns is easy. The Olympic rain forest abounds with ferns of many types, but the sword fern is probably the most prolific. INTERESTING FACTS. The pinnae are sharply but shallowly toothed, and have a small pedicle attaching them to the stem (rachis). Within Florida, it is occasionally found in swamps and wet hammocks; sometimes epiphytic; from the central and southern peninsula (Wunderlin, 2003). Polystichum munitum, the western swordfern, is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns. 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