Image for Western Swordfern

Western Swordfern

Scientific name

Polystichum munitum


Western Swordfern is an evergreen fern that typically grows between 50 and 180 cm. Western Swordfern has several tapering dark-green fronds (leaves), which are thick and leathery, forming a large clump. Each frond has numerous pinnae (leaflets) that are arranged alternately along the stalk, are 1-15 cm long, and have serrated edges. The round sori appear on the underside of each pinna in two rows along the midrib and develop into light yellow spores. Western Swordfern grows from thick underground rhizomes, making it a valuable plant for reducing erosion. Western Swordfern is one of the most abundant species of ferns occurring along the pacific coast.

Planting conditions

Western Swordfern grows best in moist soils, but will also tolerate dry conditions. It prefers an acidic or neutral soil pH and will tolerate a variety of soil types as long as adequate moisture and drainage is provided. Western Swordfern thrives in shade or part-shade conditions. It is very easy to transplant and is deer resistant. Western Swordfern can naturally be found growing in forests, wooded hillsides, slopes, and outcrops.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Partial sun
    • Shade
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Plant type:
    • Ground Cover
    • Fern
  • Height:
    • 50-180 cm
  • Spread:
    • 1 m