Polystichum polyblepharum "Tassel Fern"
Common names: TASSEL FERN, JAPANESE TASSEL FERN, Korean Tassel Fern, BRISTLE FERN, holly fern, Japanese lace fern.
Zones 5 to 8, Part shade to full shade.
Mature average size will be 2 to 3 feet tall and wide,
with outward-spreading, vase-shaped clump.
Evergreen, shiny, dark green, bipinnate fronds form a broad, erect, symmetrical spreading crown. Rachis is covered with thin brown scales. Crosiers flip over backwards to form tassels as the newly emerging fronds unfurl, and then flatten with maturity.
Why is Tassel Ferns one of the most popular ferns? Is it the thick, luxurious, waxy foliage; or maybe that the new frond tips unfurl in reverse direction and droop down and backward like a tassel; or just because it has the shiniest foliage of all the ornamental ferns?
This hardy evergreen fern is easy to grow in organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils. If the frond edges become scorched or crispy, the soil may be too dry. Add 2 to 3 inches of compost or peat moss to the beds each spring or fall. Best frond color occurs in light shade. Use in containers, as a ground cover or for borders in woodland, shady locations.