Common Name: Hard fern
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Time to divide plants: March to May
A most attractive neat and compact evergreen fern which is called the hard fern because, unlike most ferns which have very soft delicate foliage, this one has tough leathery leaves. These are ladder-shaped, and older leaves form a loose rosette around the more upright central leaves. The foliage is very glossy, which makes it a good foil for deciduous hardy ferns which have a very different foliage texture. The hard fern is also tolerant of dry soil, so it can also be used in dry stone walls and rock gardens so long as they're shady and not bone-dry. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
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