Polystichum-aculeatum (hard shield-fern)

hard shield fern fronds

Leaf type: Fronds, dissected
Phyllotaxis: Rosulate

Leaf (upper side)

hard shield fern frond top
Frond (top)
hard shield fern pinnate leaves
Pinnate leaves in April.
fronds hard shield fern
New fronds in April.

Habitus & biology

Polystichum aculeatum is an evergreen fern, its fronds can be up to almost one metre in length.

hard shield fern habitus
Habitus in July.
hard shield fern in April
Habitus in April.

Distribution & habitates

The hard shield fern is native to many European countries, North Africa and some Asian regions (source). It grows on and in forests and is also used as an ornamental plant.


Polystichum aculeatum belongs to the Dryopteridaceae family.

Polystichum aculeatum hard shield fern