Evergreen Ferns and relatives brighten the Winter landscape.

evergreen ferns

Autumn, Tassel (top) and Champion(below) Ferns add green to Winter landscape.

Warmer winter days, like today, are perfect for assessing the landscape plan.  If deciduous trees, shrubs and perennials dominate your space, your garden may seem to resemble a moonscape, devoid of life.  I looked around our acre garden and found some  spots where I could pop in more evergreen ferns. These 3 pictured survived the weeks of snow and 0° temps this month.  Autumn Fern, (Dryopteris erythrosora) Tassel Fern, (Polystichum polyblepharum) and Champion’s Wood Fern (Dryopteris championii) anchor a shady portion of a new bed on our patio, backed up by a big deciduous Royal Fern.

Another favorite for winter color is Arborvitae Fern, also called Braun’s Spikemoss, (Selaginella braunii), which is neither fern nor moss, but a club moss, which is a fern ally. Giant forms of  club mosses flourished during the Permian and Carboniferous periods, millennia ago, laying down beds of coal. In extreme cold, Selaginella is  semi-evergreen, simply curling up its fronds rather than disappearing.

Other evergreen ferns include Christmas Fern, Dixie Wood Fern, Leathery Wood Fern and Holly Fern.

7 thoughts on “Evergreen Ferns and relatives brighten the Winter landscape.

  1. Lynn, I appreciate the brave Tassle and Autumn ferns this time of year!
    Even though mine are in beds on northeast side of house – where no sunshine hits them now and where frozen precip. remains until a warm rain or several warm days thaw them – the fronds stay green. It’s not spring green to be sure, but green nevertheless. Your mention of Selaginella braunii gives me a New Year’s resolution to buy that plant for my garden!

  2. Yes, the evergreen ferns keep the garden from looking completely dead. Add to that the first bulbs peaking up to evergreen shrubs, vines and trees and it makes winter bearable.

    Pretty soon the hellebores will be blooming. My Bears Foot hellebore already has bloom stalks with closed buds awaiting a warm winter day.

  3. Pingback: 2010 in review—my first year as a blogger. « From Lynn's Garden

  4. Have you been successful with a Sellaginella Winter Fern grown in the house? It’s so different I’d like to get up close and personal with it.
    I just found this website and it looks like one I’ll be visiting often.
    I have found that for me, I must have flowers that I can see and touch, whether indoors or out. Flowers mean that my life is going good and all is right with my world. If,however, I have been unable to plant them, then I know there are problems. I am bipolar and flowers are a main link to reality and survival.
    I’ll be a frequent visitor.

    • Hi and welcome Laura, I grow Selaginella braunii outdoors and most years it is evergreen. It is very sturdy so I think it would grow well in your house too. Have you ever made a terrarium? When I taught biology, I had one. You can convert an old fish tank, add charcoal, first layer, then porous potting soil, then add ferns, moss, etc. A little depression for water. Put a glass top and it and a plant light behind it. You’ll be able to enjoy lots of ferns and selaginellas indoors w/ very little effort. It becomes a self-watering system. Good luck!

  5. Pingback: Evergren ferns | Shelbywayne

    • It is nice to see a little green, but I do include many broadleaf evergreens and some needle evergreens: tea olives, Osmanthus, ‘Otto Luyken’ Cherry Laurel, grape holly Mahonia, Arizona blue cedar Chamaecyparis arizonicus etc.

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