Christmas Fern

christmas fern

Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)

Indentification

The Christmas fern is part of the wood fern family (Dryopteridaceae) and generally grows in a clump up to 2’ tall. The name the fern comes from the evergreen frond, which is present at Christmas. The fronds grow between 30-80cm long and 5-12 cm wide. The pinnae (leaflets) are divided into 20-35 pairs. The fronds are able to remain semi-erect until the first hard frost. In the spring, the young fiddleheads (crosiers) are silvery and scaled. The scaly stem (rhizome) of the Christmas fern is pale brown, stout, and subterranean. A distinctive characteristic of the fern is the decreased fertile pinnae size.

Habitat

The spores of the Christmas fern tend to mature in June.

Propagation

Christmas fern’s often thrive on a forest floor or on shady, rocky slopes.

Upcoming Events

Jul
3
Mon
9:00 am Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Becoming a Naturalist Week 1
Jul 3 @ 9:00 am – Jul 7 @ 3:00 pm
This camp builds on the camper’s ability to encounter and describe the natural world. They will use journals, collecting equipment, and take part in many fun activities that will expand their understanding of how to
Jul
10
Mon
9:00 am Young Ecologists Week 1
Young Ecologists Week 1
Jul 10 @ 9:00 am – Jul 14 @ 3:00 pm
This camp will begin to introduce the campers to the amazing complexity of our native Acadian forests. They will dissect owl pellets, take part in forest restoration planning and plantings and develop their understanding of
Jul
15
Sat
2:00 pm Forest Restoration Workshop
Forest Restoration Workshop
Jul 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Forest Restoration Workshop @ Macphail Woods Nature Centre | Vernon Bridge | Prince Edward Island | Canada
The Forest Restoration workshop offers alternatives to clear-cuts and plantations, and other ideas on how to improve the health of Island forests. It starts with a presentation in the Nature Centre and then participants will