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Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Great plant picks: Sword fern

  • The native sword fern thrives in Northwest gardens and is a very hardy.

    Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

    The native sword fern thrives in Northwest gardens and is a very hardy.

WHAT: Sword fern, Polystichum munitum, is one of our most useful native ferns and a staple in the Northwest garden. Sword fern is evergreen and forms a shapely, arching mound.
WHY PLANT IT: It is effective as a specimen and equally beautiful massed as a tall ground cover.
Sword ferns look terrific with Smilacina racemosa (False Solomon's Seal), Lathyrus vernus (spring vetchling), Asarum europaeum (European wild ginger) and rhododendrons.
WHERE: This evergreen is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and sun exposures, from wet to dry, sun to shade. It is one of the few plants that will tolerate dry shade under the dense growth of Douglas firs and western red cedars.
Plant Type: Fern
SIZE: The sword fern will reach 3 feet by 3 feet.
LEARN MORE: www.greatplantpicks.org.
Story tags » Gardening

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