A variety of British and foreign Polystichums can be seen in the Society's garden.


One of the distinctive features of Polystichum ferns is that their fronds remain green throughout the winter, only dying back as the new fronds start to show in the spring.  Our collection was started with a gift of 27 species from Reginald Kaye of Silverdale in 1987.


Polystichum lonchitis



The British holly fern, Polystichum lonchitis, grows above 600 metres or in limestone pavement grykes.


The hard shield fern, Polystichum aculeatum, grows locally in damp woodland whereas Polystichum setiferum, the soft shield fern, is more common in southern counties as it tolerates some dryness.


Only about half of the three to four hundred cultivars of Polystichum setiferum known in Victorian times are still in existence today.  Our Collection, which can be viewed in the Upper Garden has some 60 cultivars as well as nine foreign species.