Two Shaggy Shield and Two Tassel Ferns - Planted May 2021
I have a section of our backyard that calls for a bunch of Ferns. Ostrich Ferns, to be precise. Last year, I transplanted a bunch of them (10) to this area just to the West of the Large Northern Red Oak tree that has our swing on it. You can see some of those in the photo below - the Ostrich ferns are the lime green ones that are vase-like. But, with the newly expanded beds, I also needed to fill in the section in front. I did that by transplanting three MORE Ostrich ferns in front. But, then I had a little gap between those in the border and the ones from last year. So, I when I came across a pair of ferns that I've never seen before (at a good price), I grabbed them and decided to use them here.
Dryopteris cycadina, commonly called wood fern or shaggy wood fern, is native to mountain slopes (usually in forests) in northern India, China, Taiwan and Japan. This is a semi-evergreen to deciduous, vase-shaped fern with short creeping rhizomes. It typically grows to 18-36" tall and as wide. Stiff, leathery, upright, 1-pinnate, dark green blades (fronds) with little arch appear in an attractive shuttlecock arrangement. Each frond is covered with 20-30 pairs of narrow lance-shaped pinnae (leaflets). The stipe and rachis are covered with black hair-like scales, thus appearing near black in contrast to the green leaflets. Sori (fruit dots) appear on the leaflets.
Polystichum polyblepharum, commonly called tassel fern, is an evergreen fern that is native to Japan and southern Korea. It features shiny, bipinnate, dark green fronds (to 1-2’ long) with finely divided but overlapping pinnae. It grows in an outward-spreading, vase-shaped clump to 24” tall and 24” wide. Crosiers flip over backwards to form tassels as the newly emerging fronds unfurl, hence the common name of tassel fern for this plant. Tassels disappear as fronds flatten with maturity. Synonymous with Polystichum setosum.