Polystichum × dycei

Common Name: Dyce's holly fern 
Type: Fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Non-flowering
Bloom Description: Non-flowering
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerate: Deer


Best grown in consistently moist, well-draining soils in full to part shade. Does tolerate some temporary soil dryness once established. Hardy in Zones 6-8. Semi-evergreen, and may die back to the ground in hard winters. Reliably root-hardy in Zone 6.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Polystichum × dycei, commonly called Dyce's holly fern, is an interspecific hybrid of P. proliferum and P. braunii. The glossy, dark green, gently arching fronds will reach up to 3' long (rarely to 4'). Plants will take on a broad vase-like habit, reaching up to 2' tall. This hybrid fern is sterile, but can be propagated easily by the small bulbils (bulb-shaped, above-ground, vegetative structures that can produce a new plant) that form at the ends of the fronds.

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.

The specific epithet dycei honors James Wood Dyce (1905-1996), a fern enthusiast and president of the British Pteridological Society from 1979-1982.


No major pest or disease problems. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


A vigorous selection for shady areas of the garden, including shaded mix borders and woodland gardens.