Polystichum polyblepharum
Common Name: tassel fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Eastern Asia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer


Easily grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained loams in part shade to full shade. Prefers a sun-dappled shade. Consider planting rhizome at an angle to help combat potential crown rot problems which most often occur in poorly drained soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Polystichum polyblepharum, commonly called tassel fern, is an evergreen fern that is native to Japan and southern Korea. It features shiny, bipinnate, dark green fronds (to 1-2’ long) with finely divided but overlapping pinnae. It grows in an outward-spreading, vase-shaped clump to 24” tall and 24” wide. Crosiers flip over backwards to form tassels as the newly emerging fronds unfurl, hence the common name of tassel fern for this plant. Tassels disappear as fronds flatten with maturity. Synonymous with Polystichum setosum.

Genus name comes from the Greek words polys meaning many and stichos meaning in a row in reference to its spore cases being in rows.

Specific epithet means “many eyelashes” in reference to the bristly scales found on the stipe and rachis.


No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot may occur in poorly drained soils, particularly in winter.


Excellent selection for shaded areas in the landscape, including borders, woodland gardens, shade gardens, wild gardens and foundations.