Fern ID: Christmas Fern

Photo of Christmas Fern

Though currently hidden under a blanket of snow, Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) has green leaves year-round. This species grows in symmetrical clumps and can be found in woodlands throughout the eastern US. Sterile and fertile fronds appear similar, though the latter have distinctly smaller, spore-bearing upper pinnae (or leaf divisions). All fronds feature single-lobed pinnae which serve as handy identification aids.

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