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holly fern, mountain fern, northern holly fern


erect to occasionally ascending.


erect, not arching except at tip, 1–6 dm;

bulblets absent.


1/10–1/6 of blade, densely scaly;

scales light brown, gradually diminishing in size distally.


linear, often widest above middle, 1-pinnate, base narrowed.


oblong to lanceolate to falcate, proximal pinnae ± deltate, rarely overlapping, in 1 plane, 0.5–3 cm, base truncate to oblique, acroscopic auricle well developed;

margins serrulate-spiny with teeth spreading;

apex acute, subapical tooth hardly smaller than apical tooth;

microscales dense, on abaxial surface only.


entire or minutely dentate-erose.


dark brown.


= 82.

Polystichum lonchitis

Habitat In rock crevices or at base of boulders, mostly in boreal and subalpine coniferous forests or alpine regions
Elevation 0–3200 m [0–10500 ft]

The hybrid between Polystichum lonchitis and P. acrostichoides (= P. × hagenahii Cody) is discussed under P. acrostichoides. The hybrid with P. braunii (= P. × meyeri Sleep & Reichstein) is discussed under P. braunii. In the Georgian Bay area of Ontario, P. lonchitis hybridizes with Dryopteris goldieana to produce the peculiar × Dryostichum singulare W. H. Wagner (W. H. Wagner Jr., F. S. Wagner et al. 1992).

The spiny spores of P. lonchitis are distinctive and distinguish this from dwarfed forms of other 1-pinnate species.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

from FNA
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Parent taxa Dryopteridaceae > Polystichum
Sibling taxa
P. acrostichoides, P. aleuticum, P. andersonii, P. braunii, P. californicum, P. dudleyi, P. imbricans, P. kruckebergii, P. kwakiutlii, P. lemmonii, P. microchlamys, P. munitum, P. scopulinum, P. setigerum
Synonyms Polypodium lonchitis
Name authority (Linnaeus) Roth: Tent. Fl. Germ. 3(1): 71. (1799)
Source Flora of North America vol. 2.
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