Polystichum polyblepharum

Polystichum PolyblepharumPolyblepharum, a species of the Polystichum genus is a truly exceptional fern for a partial to full shaded garden border. It is hardy, evergreen, drought tolerant and requires little to no maintenance. This fern is commonly known as the ‘tassle fern’.

If your looking for a neat, well behaved fern this one should be on your shopping list. A rosette of deep green fronds up to 1m in length form the elegant shuttlecock look we associate greatly with ferns. With a maximum spread of 1m and height of 80cm it is a very useful plant to use on its own as a focal point plant in a small garden or perhaps en-mass in a larger space where a collection of them can be planted to give a more naturalistic look as if in the wild.

Ferns do look exotic and are an essential plant in any plan where that tropical look is sought after.

We love this fern so much it made its way onto our top 20 plants that like shade list .

Planting Conditions
  • plant in partial to full shade
  • drought tolerant
  • grows happily in all soil pH. Acid, neutral & alkaline
  • Will thrive in all soil structures apart from a heavy clay soil
  • plant in plenty of rich organic compost and keep watered until established
  • will grow under conifers

Once planted this fern needs very little care and attention. Keep watered whilst the fern is getting established (as you would any other garden plants). Once established this fern is drought tolerant. Cut off any damaged fronds back to  just above the crown that ruin the plants symmetry and look. As with most evergreen fronds we recommend pruning back all fronds to the base in early spring as the new fronds start to emerge. A good mulch of well rotten horse manure will also help to keep moisture in the soil and provide the plant with a slow release of nutrients.

Goes Well With

A stunning effect can be achieved by mixing ferns with contrasting leaf textures and leaf colour.

The large smooth leaves of Bergenia contrast well as does the gorgeous yellow leaf of some Carex varieties. For a splash of  colour you could try planting with a group of Hellebores.

Colourful leaved Heucheras are excellent at providing leaf colour contrast and another fern, Asplenium scolopendrium provides a lovely texture contrast with its long, glossy lance shaped fronds.


The polystichum genus of ferns contains some 260 species. 120 species are found in South East Asia alone. Polyblepharum can found be occurring in the wild in some forests of Japan.