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Blechnum spicant

Hard fern

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


Blechnum spicant
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Plant details

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 are shady and not bone-dry. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Blechnaceae

Genus: Blechnum

Species: spicant

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 45cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

Reader reviews


I have a fern by my compost bin, but l don't know which sort it is, it looks like the lady fern but it's not very delicate, tough leaves but they don't die back so it's evergreen so l'm wondering wether it could be the hard fern, l've had it some years now and l think it is really beautifull.

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