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Polystichum acrostichoides

Common Name: Christmas Fern
Polystichum acrostichoides
Polystichum acrostichoides

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Genus: Polystichum
Species: Polystichum acrostichoides

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

The Christmas fern is between 18 and 30 inches long. Fronds are once compound, have 20-40 leaflets, and are usually alternating. They hare finely toothed and uneven at the base.

Habitat & Range

These ferns live in moist forests and near streams in Eastern North America.

Life Cycle

The sori, that produce spores, are rounded, and cover the undersides of the leaflets. The Christmas fern’s fronds are evergreen, and can be found year-round.

Christmas fern in winter by Katie Bagnall-Newman.
Christmas fern in winter by Katie Bagnall-Newman.

Featured image by James Dake.


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