from 4.50

Polystichum Setiferum is known as the soft shield fern: it is evergreen, with attractive feathery, finely dissected fronds, and the ability to take quite a lot of sun. Best, however, in light to full shade. It is quick to establish and will form quite a striking clump to fill a spot that other plants might spurn. Likes a humus-rich soil. To 36 in. 9cm pot.


There are lots of variations on Polystichum Setiferum, but this is the straight species, and nothing wrong with that, as it a graceful arching fern with soft fronds, as the common name rightly suggests. It’s not too slow in bulking up into a good robust clump of evergreen splendour and looking very much like what we all imagine a proper woodland fern looks like. If you haven’t got a wood, don’t worry, as any position with a bit of shade from the noonday sun and soil that doesn’t dry out (but doesn’t get too soggy, either) will keep this fern happy.

Polystichum Setiferum is native to Europe. The genus name means many-rowed, referring to the spore cases being aligned in rows; the species name basically means bristly, which might seem odd for something dubbed the soft shield fern, but there you go. Though, as the stalks and midribs have lovely cinnamon coloured scales along them, perhaps it refers to that. Still pretty, even if it doesn’t.

Care - what care? Nothing to do here other than remove any old fronds damaged over winter as the new ones emerge.

Polystichum Setiferum is a compact hardy evergreen fern with fine feathery fronds suitable for light to full shade.

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