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Western Sword Fern
Polystichum munitum
  
About Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) 57 Nurseries Carry This Plant Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is a large evergreen fern with dark green fronds that grow in a tight clump, spreading out radially from a round base. It grows up to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide and is moderate to fast growing. Individual fronds live for 1.5-2.5 years and remain attached to the base after withering.

It is excellent as an ornamental groundcover for shade. Plant in partial to full shade and give moderate to regular water. It prefers well-draining, rocky, acidic soil but can tolerate clay.
This plant attracts butterflies and hosts a likely total of 3 species of butterfly and moth. It is deer and rabbit resistant.

To learn more, visit the Jepson Herbarium?s YouTube channel and watch a short video about this species:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L36cYCCP9I
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Fern

Size
Size
1.6 - 5.9 ft tall
2 - 3 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright, Fountain

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous, Evergreen

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Wildlife Supported
 


 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 3 likely * ) SHOW ALL
*
Thallophaga taylorata Image
Thallophaga taylorataThallophaga taylorata
*
Diarsia esurialis Image
Diarsia esurialisDiarsia esurialis

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Shade, Part Shade

Moisture
Moisture
Low, Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 2x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Very Easy, Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 15° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerant of a variety of soils as long as adequate moisture is available; slightly drought-tolerant once established, but best with at least a weekly deep watering.. Soil PH: 4.0 - 7.0

Common uses
Common uses
Groundcovers, Deer Resistant

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Good as understory to large trees along with Meadow Rue, Maidenhair Fern, Deer Fern, Western Polypody Fern, and Wild Ginger

Maintenance
Maintenance
Dead fronds may be removed to improve appearance

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
4*, 5*, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Wooded hillsides, slopes, rarely cliffs, outcrops

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 11.8" - 146.1", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 5.58", Coldest Month: 26.7" - 54.1", Hottest Month: 48.9" - 81.0", Humidity: 0.01" - 28.77", Elevation: -22" - 10562"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Western Swordfern


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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