Cyrtomium or Holly Ferns.

The holly ferns are probably best known for Cyrtomium falcatum and Cyrtomium fortunei in the UK.

Some species can be a little aggressive in the garden and tend to take over a little. So unless you have the space to fill, look for the slower growing types. In some countries outside of the natural habitat thay have become naturalised and are classed as an environmental weed.

They are however a larger group and most useful in landscaping situations where a moisture loving fern is required.

They will grow in part sun to dappled shade, but do require moisture along with good drainage, so no waterlogged positions please.


These are a hardy fern right down to USDA Zones 6.

Cyrtomium falcatum rochfrodianum with its bold foliage offers a little more than seasonal interest., and is one of the best varieties.

Moist soils.
Dappled shade to morning sun.
Reaching 2 -3 ft in height (1m).
Rabbits seem to leave it alone.

In our cooler climates most will be deciduous or at best semi - evergreen and can be cut back in winter to give a general tidy up.

Species include: Cyrtomium caryotideum, Cyrtomium falcatum, Cyrtomium fortunei, Cyrtomium macrophyllum. Cyrtomium or Holly Fern plants are a popular shade loving plant for the UK.

Cyrtomium or Holly Ferns are available fro sale from the following nurseries

Tel 01963 32802
South Marsh, Charlton Musgrove. Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 8EX
A large range of unusual perennials, bulbs and ferns in any semi- or fully shaded position in the garden, grown here in Somerset using peat free compost.

John Allman 

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