Plant Description

Cyrtomium falcatum

Cyrtomium falcatum - at rear

Cyrtomium falcatum (ht 60-90 cm), often called the holly fern, is a cold-hardy evergreen species that also grows well in the warmer areas of Sydney. It is a native of Japan. It has bold, glossy, spiny leaflets, which do look rather like holly, and it makes a wide clump, spreading by rhizomes. It will grow in deep or partial shade, but is also regarded as one of the most sun tolerant ferns. It likes a moist, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, but can tolerate some dryness once established, especially if mulched well. It will appreciate the occasional deep soaking in summer and a spray of water over its foliage every so often. Like all ferns, it is propagated by spores, which will germinate on damp stones or bricks; but it can also be propagated by dividing the rhizomes in autumn or winter. It can be grown in a tub. Its leaves echo the form of those of Mahonia lomariifolia, which also grows well in shade, and they could be a good pairing. There are some named cultivars of the holly fern, but I have never seen any of them!


Cyrtomium falcatum
Plant Family: Dryopteridaceae

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