All Chapter members are eligible to attend any GNPS plant rescue.

To learn about currently scheduled GNPS rescues, please visit the Plant Rescue page on the GNPS website. This page is usually updated with the next month's rescues around the 24th of each month, but pop-ups can be added at any time.

If you are interested in the rescue program, please make sure that you are on the GNPS rescue mailing list, so you will receive a mailing when the Rescue Schedule page is updated. This is not our chapter mailing list.

You can help us find new rescue locations. There is now an online Potential Rescue Site Information Form that can be filled out to start the process. If you see a property that is going to be developed, please take the time to gather all the information you can and submit it on the form.

To help identify plants you find, or just to see how native plants look this month, visit Mike Strickland's personal homepage - A Monthly Guide to Georgia Native Plants.

Polystichum acrostichoides
    ( Polystichum        acrostichoides )
Christmas Fern, taken on September 15, 2005.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland

The Christmas fern, or Polystichum acrostichoides, is an evergreen fern with tolerance for drought, heavy shade, and rocky soil. Ideally, it should be sited in organically rich soil with dry to medium moisture, in part shade to full shade, but is very tolerant of less than ideal condiditons. It requires good drainage. Planting at an angle may help combat the crown rot, as this will allow the water to drain away from the plant.

The Christmas Fern does not spread with rhizomes, but is a clump forming fern. The fountain-like clump can grow up to two feet tall and up to two feet wide with fronds up to four inches wide.

Its dark green leaves are somewhat leathery, with distinctive leaflets which, when examined carefully, look like a Santa's boot. However, it got its common name because it was often used in the past as greenery at Christmas time when little else was available.

Young fiddleheads, or unfurling fronds, appear in spring with a silvery appearance. Tall, fertile fronds spring up in the center of the plant, with shorter, sterile fronds surrounding the fertile fronds.

Christmas fern is found in much of the eastern and north-central areas of North America from New Brunswick south to Georgia and Florida.

These ferns have no serious pest or disease problems. Propagation of Christmas ferns is best done by root division.

Common uses for this plant include: Good for garden borders, accent plants and ground covers. Excellent plant for the woodland garden or for mass plantings on slopes to help combat erosion.

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West Ga Chapter of GNPS
PO Box 635
Carrollton, GA 30112


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