Pacific sword fern (polystichum munitum)

The Pacific sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is a large, evergreen fern that grows in moist locations, and is very abundant and widespread in the coastal Pacific Northwest. It is a once-pinnate (leaves are basal) plant that can grow up to 1.5 meters tall.

The leaves are lancolate and erect, and usually grouped together at the base, forming spiral patterns of growth. The pinnae are attached at one point, and are sharply toothed, alternating as they go up on the stalk. Each pinna is about 1-15 cm long, with sori underneath that occupy two rows, producing spores that are bright yellow.

  • Fronds can get up to 1.5 meters tall, once-pinnate
  • Fronds are lancolate shaped and resemble swords
  • Pinna have serrated margins and are attached at one point on the axis
  • Sori underneath pinna are double-rowed