Tassel Fern Fronds Summer Growth Unfurling - August 2021

Earlier this Spring, I planted two pairs of two new ferns (at least they were new to me) in the backyard bed near where I transplanted a bunch of Ostrich Ferns last year.  They are in the shadow of the big Northern Red Oak tree (Tree Swing Tree).  

The two different ferns were Shaggy Shield fern - Dryopteris cycadina -  and Tassel fern - Polystichum polyblepharum.  They were small 4" containers with small ferns when I planted them in.  I applied a thick layer of mulch.  The Shaggy Shield (or sometimes called Shaggy Wood Fern) is doing fine.  But, that's not why I'm posting here.  

I noticed some new growth on the Japanese Tassel Ferns - Polystichum polyblepharum - that helps me understand how they received their name.  Back in that post, I talked about how the new fronds kind of curl up to look like tassels.  This screenshot below of the listing from Gardenia says it best, I think:

Via Gardenia

That's exactly the stage of some of the new growth on our first-year Japanese Tassel Ferns right now.   The photo at the very top of this post shows this new, young growth *after* it unfurls.  But...Check out the photo below to see those golden hairs and how they've kind of 'flipped backwards' to show themselves off as a tassel.


One of the things I've noticed online is that the viable growing zone for these Tassel Ferns is in dispute.  Monrovia lists them down to Zone 6Missouri Botanical Garden shows them down to Zone 5 (where we live).  Great Plant Picks lists Zone 6, too. But, the North Carolina State Extension Office has them hardy in both Zone 5a and Zone 5b.  

Knowing that, I'm going to try to get over to the mulch pit and pick up some wood chips to mulch these in ahead of winter dormancy in an attempt to protect them.  I did this with a bunch of stuff last year (like this Praying Hands hosta and the Summer Beauty Alliums) and it seemed to work.   


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