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Woodwardia

Chain Fern
Polypodiaceae
Ferns

These are medium to large, mostly evergreen ferns with arching fronds and bold texture. The common name refers to the chainlike pattern of spores beneath the frond segments. Excellent as focal points or grouped on banks or near water.

All grow best in moist, organically enriched soil with a thick layer of mulch.

Woodwardia fimbriata
Woodwardia fimbriata

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Woodwardia fimbriata

Native from British Columbia to Mexico. This species is among the largest native Western ferns, topping out at 9 ft. in mild, wet coastal regions; in gardens, it typically reaches 4–5 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide. Thick, leathery, medium green fronds are upright but spreading toward the top. Foliage is twice cut but still somewhat coarse. Use alongside a stream or brook, against a shaded wall, or in a woodland garden. Sometimes seen in desert areas where shady seeps exist. Slow to get going if dug from existing clumps; nursery plants are fast growing and vigorous, but not invasive. Withstands neglect once well established.

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