Merry Christmas Fern to You and Yours
by Tim Burris, Mariton Preserve Manager
The Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides ) is so-named because it stays green throughout the winter. This winter has been a little different, but in past years I have dug down through snow in February and still found green fronds of this beautiful fern. It is easy to imagine a colonial wife using this fern to decorate her dark cabin in the woods at Christmas time. (In fact, my wife uses it as part of our table’s centerpiece.) Like most ferns, deer don’t bother it, so it is a nice addition to the yard with moist shade. While most of our trails are naturally “landscaped” with Christmas Ferns, we have a little spur trail on the Main Trail, that really makes one appreciate their beauty.
When it snows – and it will – take a walk on the trails and notice how much this fern warms up a winter walk.