Common Name: Christmas Fern
- Habit: Fern
- Light: Part Shade (2-5 hrs. direct sun), Shade (< 2 hrs. direct sun)
- Water Needs: Moist, Average
- Height: 1-2′
- Flower: Green, Jul, Aug
- Fruit: Spores on the undersides of fertile fronds.
- Fall Color: Evergreen
- Natural Habitat: Woodland Edge, Rocky Outcrops, Upland Deciduous Forest, Bottomland Deciduous Forest
Polystichum acrostichoides is a clumping fern with semi-erect fronds and opposite linear leaflets with pointed ends. Greyish fiddleheads emerge in spring and unfurl to make new fronds that are usually evergreen or at least until around Christmas time. Tough, waxy leaves make this plant drought-tolerant (for a fern), but it thrives in shade with rich soils.