Polypodium scouleri

leathery polypody

coast polypody

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The leathery polypody, as the common name describes it, has fern fronds with thick, lime green leaflets and stalks rising from a slowly expanding underground stem. While often found in the crooks of trees, this charming evergreen fern will also grow in a garden bed with lots of humus and good drainage; dappled to deep shade is best.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: fern

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: open to dappled or deep shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: year-round evergreen native fern fronds

Culture Notes
Plant in open to dappled or deep shade and the soil should be well draining, but rich in humus. This native hugs Western coast habitat where humidity is high so water regularly during dry periods.
Geek Notes
Polypodium scouleri is native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia through Washington, Oregon, and California to Baja California mainly in maritime habitats of coastal prairie, redwood forest, and mixed evergreen forest. It is found growing on a variety of substrates including volcanic, rocky cliffs, and forest floors as well as on live and dead trees.