Polystichum munitum Polypodiaceae
Swordfern po-LI-sti-kum mew-NEE-tum
- Evergreen fern. Fronds (leaves) pinnate, leathery, shiny, stiffly erect, dark green, 1-4 ft (0.3-1.2 m) long, 5-25 cm wide, growing from a dense crown. Fronds cut once, pinnae ("leaflets") alternate, medium texture, on the underside, sori (spore producing bodies) are uniformly spaced in a single row on either side of the midrib; chaffy petiole covered with scales gradually tapering to a point (acuminate).
- Part shade to shade. Grows best in rich soil with organic matter and ample water. A "sun" form (Polystichum munitum var. imbricans) is a compact version which prefers full sun.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native range from Alaska to California and east to western Montana. Hitchcock and Cronquist (1976) separate into two varieties, the larger P. m. var. munitum and the smaller P. m. var. imbricans.
- Polystichum: poly, many; stichos, rows, referring to the regular row of sori (spore containing
structures) on the underside of the fronds; munitum: armed, with teeth.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: east of Ag. and Life Sciences (ALS) fountain.