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Zones 5-8
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Zones 5-8

Tassel Fern

Polystichum polyblepharum

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Tassel Fern

Polystichum polyblepharum

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The Tassel Fern is a charming fern with lacy foliage, forming a symmetrical clump of radiating leaves 2 feet tall and wide. The evergreen leaves are finely-cut, and they are glossy and rich green, making a very attractive plant. When the young leaves are open they don’t have the normal ‘clenched fist’ look. Instead the tip flips over and hangs down, covered in silvery hairs, like a decorative tassel. Grow this plant in woodland gardens, in beds with other shade-loving perennials or small shrubs, and in all shady parts of your garden. Edge a pathway or grow it beside a pond or stream. It can also be grown in a pot, outdoors or indoors in a cool place like a porch or bathroom.

  • Charming clump of finely-divided leaves to 2 feet tall
  • Glossy, rich green leaves are evergreen
  • Unique ‘tassels’ form as the new leaves uncurl
  • Perfect in woodland settings and damp shade
  • Easily grown, and ignored by deer and rabbits

Dappled shade is perfect for the Tassel Fern, which grows in all partially-shaded spots, and in areas with lighter full shade as well. It enjoys richer, steadily-moist soils that are well-drained and not soggy. Add organic material like compost or rotted leaves when planting, and use it as mulch. Any leaves damaged in winter can be trimmed off in spring – they will soon be replaced by fresh new growth. Free of pests and diseases, and ignored by deer and rabbits, this easy fern is a real charmer.

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