Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase
Eaten in curries
. We have no more details, it is probably the young leaves that are used though it might be the root.
Plants can be grown as a ground cover and are best placed about 60cm apart each way
There are no material uses listed for Polystichum aculeatum.
There are no medicinal uses listed for Polystichum aculeatum.
Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe, though they can also be sown in the spring. Sow them on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old and then only in a very well sheltered position.
Division. This is best done in the spring.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Polystichum aculeatum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
Very hardy and easily grown in light shade in any reasonable soil
. Prefers a sandy humus-rich soil in a shady position that is moist even in winter
. Tolerates part sun for up to 6 hours a day if the soil remains moist
. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5
A very ornamental plant.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Remove old fronds from the plant in the spring because they may harbour fungal diseases.
Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Polystichum aculeatum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Polystichum aculeatum.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
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? 6.06.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
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? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)