Invasive Sword Fern The invasive sword fern is a sneaky plant, as it looks almost exactly like a Florida native fern. None of these large evergreen ferns is abundant enough to sustain commercial harvest. There are a great variety of ferns, most of which are perennials. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. 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. Facts about Sword Ferns. 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. In 23 counties from the Gainesville area south, specimens of sword fern have been found and documented. Description As one of the most prevalent Northwest native plants, Sword Fern is best known for its bright green arching fronds that grace the shaded forest floor from the Yukon all the way south into southern California. In addition to spreading through rhizomes, sword ferns will also reproduce via spores that are found along the backside of the fronds. Sword ferns transplant easily in the garden. Species Overview. Sword fern fronds can be quite long, the mature plant growing to a height and width of 3 to 6 feet. Learning how to grow sword ferns will be easier if you know how you want to use them in the landscape. Once established in the garden, caring for sword ferns is easy. Western Sword Fern is also known as Sword Holly Fern, Giant Holly Fern, Christmas Fern, Pineland Sword Fern, or Chamisso’s Shield 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. Sweeping ornamental Sword ferns are found naturally in wooded areas in the Western U.S., but are also popular as houseplants. Fossil records of fern-like plants date back almost 400 million years ago. Swordfern and Boston Fern Life Cycle. The western sword fern is an evergreen plant belonging to the wood fern family, or the Dryopteridaceae. Polystichum munitum, the western swordfern, is an evergreen fern native to western North America, where it is one of the most abundant ferns. The stipes emerge from a central area known as the crown. Now considered a Category I invasive species, sword fern has made its presence known and continues to spread across Florida. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Each of these little balls contains between 32 and 64 spores, which the fern uses to reproduce. Presl (Pol-ee-STIK-um mew-NEE-tum) Names: Polystichum means many rows, referring to the arrangement of the spore cases on the undersides of the fronds. About Boston Ferns. So for those looking to add interest and texture to the garden or fill in open areas, the sword fern plant may be just what the plant doctor ordered. 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. Species (common name, Latin name) Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)Range . The Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is one of the most versatile shade plants available to the American gardener. Washington State University Clark County Extension: Sword Fern, San Francisco State University Department of Geography: The Biogeography of the Sword Fern. Handsome, well-divided fronds with an upright form, a lance-shaped outline, and a leathery texture characterize this attractive sword fern. 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. While they are most commonly found growing in moist, wooded areas, sword ferns are quickly becoming popular in the home garden as well. Plants can also be divided in spring and transplanted to other areas of the garden. Still, the ferns have had a very long run. But keep in mind that it also is a highly versatile and useful perennial fern for a home garden. INTERESTING FACTS. They can even thrive in sun when given plenty of moisture. Plant type. Giant sword fern is a perennial fern. It is an evergreen that grows up to 1.5 m (~5') tall in the more southern parts of its range. Sword fern is a large, common fern in coastal BC. To make matters worse, they share a common name—sword fern! The Swinomish tribe of Washington state used the leaves to cure sore throats, while women of the Lummi, also in Washington, chewed on leaves during childbirth. Hints, Guides and Discussions of the Wiki content related to Sword Fern should be placed in the Discussion Topic. It gets its common name from the frond shape and because each leaflet of the fronds is dagger shaped, with toothed edges and a base that looks somewhat like a sword … Evergreen. Facts About Sword Fern. Western swordfern is closely related to Polystichum imbricans based on morphologic and electrophoretic analysis. Each frond is pinnately compound, and lance-shaped. They are easy to identify. In addition to their use as a garden plant, the sword fern can be used for crafts. They work well with other perennial plantings as well, especially when used as understory plants. Sign up for our newsletter. The pinnae are sharply but shallowly toothed, and have a small pedicle attaching them to the stem (rachis). Named sword Fern because of the dagger shaped leaflets and upright growth. Planting takes place in spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. However, as long as there is good drainage, the sword fern can easily adapt to a number of soil conditions. Each leaflet has serrated edges and two rows of spore-producing sori on the underside which look like round, yellowish spots. 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. Even home gardeners landscape with ferns because they add elegant greenery and timeless ease of care. When planted on hillsides, they can be useful in preventing erosion. Fern Facts. sword-fern swordfern western sword-fern western sword fern TAXONOMY: The scientific name of western swordfern is Polystichum munitum (Kaufl.) Although technically called the Western sword fern, this plant is more commonly known simply as a “sword fern” due to the long, bladelike appearance of its fronds. It grows in a tight clump but over time can become quite large. It makes great cover for insects and small birds, and has many traditional uses from cooking and storing food to materials for mats and bedding. Its current distribution includes Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Kartesz, 1999). 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 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… When the plant comes to maturity, we can say that the plant has completed its life cycle. Some ferns are deciduous and some are evergreen. The long blades grow out of a central point, creating a large, erect crown. The dark green fronds are shaped somewhat like a sword … The fossil record of fern-like plants starts almost 400 million years ago, and they are still with us today. Nephrolepis cordifolia, or sword fern, is a plant that was introduced most likely for its ornamental attributes. Each frond, which can be several feet long, contains as many as 75 to 100 leaves, with rows of brown sporangia on the bottom. These spores appear as brown spots, which are clustered together in groups. Their upright fronds contain thin green leaves with sawtooth-leaflets. 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. Sarah Moore has been a writer, editor and blogger since 2006. The sword fern (Polystichum munitum) plant is a lush evergreen ground cover known for its bright green, sword-shaped fronds. Identification. 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. When a sperm fertilizes the egg, a full set results and a mature new fern can grow. The Olympic rain forest abounds with ferns of many types, but the sword fern is probably the most prolific. Western sword fern is the sort of classic fern you are most likely to spot on a shady wooded trail, showing off its root muscles as it clings to rocky slopes or displaying its pack mentality as it nestles in a plant posse under stately redwoods. And while some people may be lucky enough to have these plants growing naturally on their property already, there are various cultivars available through nurseries. Nephrolepis cordifolia, or sword fern, is a plant that was introduced most likely for its ornamental attributes. Note: When acquiring this plant, make sure that you are getting Polystichum munitum. She holds a master's degree in journalism. It occurs along the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to southern California, and also inland east to southeastern British Columbia, northern Idaho and western Montana, with disjunctive populations in northern British Columbia, Canada; the Black Hills in South Dakota, United States; and Guadalupe Island off of Baja California, Mexico. In 23 counties from the Gainesville area south, specimens of sword fern have been found and documented. While the sword fern’s exact ancestry is unclear, it appears to be descended from the prehistoric class Coenopteridopsida, in turn descended from Trimerophytopsida. 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. While knowing What is Swordfern and Boston Fern, life cycle is important to know.The life cycle is the time span required for a plant to grow completely. Reproduce with spores. This 2,309 square foot house sits on a 6,098 square foot lot and features 4 bedrooms and 2.75 bathrooms. This plant does nicely in shady flower beds and in woodland settings, pretty much anywhere it can get proper shading and good drainage. Description– Dark green, single pinnate fronds that grow up to 5’ long, and issue from a central base. Sword fern plants will keep their foliage throughout winter and can be trimmed back in spring, if desired, though it’s usually better to only cut off dead foliage. For instance, sword ferns make excellent ground cover plants. Although ferns and plants like them were once the dominant plant species on earth, that began to change about 230 million years ago, when the cycads and conifers started to take over. Although most people prefer to grow them for ornamental purposes, they have other uses too. Similar species– Deer Fern and Licorice Fern have sessile pinnae. 6cm; 12cm; 20cm. The arching leaves are held semi-erect and the plant can form large clumps. The sword fern is one of the most common ferns in the refuge’s forests and beyond. Morphology: This evergreen groundcover fern grows to a height of 4’ with an eventual spread of 7’. It is abundant and common in continuous populations in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Alaska. Polystichum munitum, is distributed over a large area. Sword ferns perform best in moist shady conditions. Four sword fern species are native to Baranof Island, where Sitka is located, and are adapted to a variety of habitats and transplant well. Bracken is perhaps the most broadly distributed of all fern species and among the most wide-ranging of all vascular plants.The plant is usually separated into 5–12 subspecies, though some botanists classify most or all of these varieties as separate species, a topic that is controversial among taxonomists.Several subspecies occur in North America and Great Britain. Plant Data Sheet . All About Sword Ferns The sword fern (Polystichum munitum) plant is a lush evergreen ground cover known for its bright green, sword-shaped fronds. Because the fern reproduces by spore and spores only contain half the chromosomes necessary to produce a mature fern, the fern undergoes an intermediate reproductive stage. Ferns, and similar plants, were a dominant plant species until about 230 million years ago. 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 frond’s underside holds sori ( a cluster of spore-containing structures) which produce yellow spores. Yes. Like all ferns, the Western sword fern also exists in another, less recognizable form. Each blade has alternating leaflets along the stipe (stem). In a mature plant, as many as 100 dark-green, lance-shaped fronds may grow from the rhizome at the plant’s center. In addition to their graceful appearance, ease of planting and caring for sword ferns makes them great choices for the landscape. Western sword fern is native to North America, growing all the way from Alaska to through California. 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. While, Boston Fern has allergic reactions which are Not Available. 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). Their more serious applications have included cooking the rhizomes to cure diarrhea and rubbing them on nettle stings. If the topic isn't already created (i.e. the link brings you to an empty search) then you must create the topic, using the topic naming convention explained here. It is considered invasive by some, and when put in the wrong place it certainly can be. C. Presl – … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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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. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/interesting-western-sword-fern-70704.html Presl (Dryopteridaceae) [36,48,58,98,100,106,112,126,170,183]. 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. Erect sword fern can be seen many, many places doing quite nicely. There are several varieties of ferns that are commonly called Sword Ferns and some can be very invasive in some climates. It forms clumps as it grows. 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. Facts About Sword Fern. See more ideas about sword fern, ferns, plants. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Nephrolepis exaltata, known as the sword fern or Boston fern, is a species of fern in the family Lomariopsidaceae (sometimes treated in the families Davalliaceae or Oleandraceae, or in its own family, Nephrolepidaceae) native to tropical regions throughout the world. Aug 18, 2017 - Explore Melanie Martin's board "Sword Fern", followed by 271 people on Pinterest. Western swordfern is known to have l… Young Western Sword Fern growing from a crack in a rock face. It's often a tall plant that may reach five feet in height in suitable climates and habitats. Now considered a Category I invasive species, sword fern has made its presence known and continues to spread across Florida. Sword ferns are showy ferns, valuable for landscaping or re-vegetation projects. Relationships: There are about 260 species of Polystichum worldwide with about 16 native to North America; and about 10 native to the Pacific Northwest. Pteridophyta – Ferns Class: Filicopsida Order: Polypodiales Family: Dryopteridaceae – Wood Fern family Genus: Polystichum Roth – hollyfern Species: Polystichum munitum (Kaulf.) Native to British Columbia By: Kate van der Zalm . These interesting plants are easy to grow with sword fern care being just as simple. The invasive sword fern can take over and displace all other ferns, ground covers and low growing plants by forming impenetrable dense stands. Within Florida, it is occasionally found in swamps and wet hammocks; sometimes epiphytic; from the central and southern peninsula (Wunderlin, 2003). The leaves grow out radially from a central underground rhizome. Other The presence of these tubers alone is a distinct way to identify the species. Climate, elevation Common name, Latin name ) sword fern can grow their use as a garden plant make. Of Geography: the scientific name of western swordfern is closely related Polystichum. 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