Polypodium scouleri, also known as Leatherleaf fern, is native to the west coast of North America, from British Columbia to Guadalupe Island in Baja California. This explains why the fern can withstand the salty air from the sea.
The fern is evergreen throughout the year and fairly winter-hardy (USDA zone 8-9), making it ideal for use as an underplanting or ground cover. Using its rhizomes, the fern can spread itself, but it does not become invasive.
The ideal location for this fern is in shade to partial shade. The plants grow to a height of 30 cm, with leaves that are 8 cm wide and up to 85 cm long, depending on the location. An attractive feature of this fern is the orange rusty-colored clusters of spore capsules that can appear as neatly arranged dots on the underside of the fronds. These capsules contain the fern’s spores.
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