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I was strolling through the woodland areas of my nursery the other day when I noticed how nicely the Polypodiums had tucked themselves in for the Winter. They had nestled themselves under a cozy blanket of fallen leaves from the Oaks and Maples that had shaded them during the growing season. I then came to the realization that I've been neglectful in sharing this very charming, little evergreen fern with you. Please accept my sincere, heartfelt apology for that selfish indiscretion and read on.
Polypodium virginianum aka the "Rock Polypody" is native to just about every state east of the Mississippi, Alaska, almost every province in Canada and all the way north up to Greenland and Iceland - //plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=POVI7
The name for the genus comes from the Greek, polus, "many" and podos, "foot", "many footed". There are about 75-100 species in the genus, mostly tropical, believe it or not. There are both terrestrial and epiphytic species in the genus. If you've ever travelled to Charleston SC, you may have visited the Angel Oak, a 1500 year old Quercus virginiana. This "Live Oak" is covered with the epiphytic species, Polypodium polypodioides, the "Resurrection Fern" - http://www.majestyoftrees.com/the-angel-oak Many other trees in the Southern US are covered with this epiphytic species.
But back to this species, Polypodium virginianum. To grow it requires no master's degree in gardening or landscape architecture or any particularly colored thumb. It's really quite simple! Just give it some average to moist shade and don't bury the roots too deeply into the soil. In my gardens and in the naturally occurring colonies on my farm, it sprawls itself over sandstone boulders in a very thin layer of soil and organic debris. Drought tolerance is another merit, as it easily survived over 6 weeks with no rain this Summer and didn't bat an eye.
The rugged, yet delicate, dark green, glossy fronds look great all year round and disappear magically as the new fronds emerge so you'll never have a bare spot. The 2" - 4" wide, 6" - 12" long fronds reach up about 3" to 6" as the plant spreads slowly and gracefully into a colony by branched, creeping rhizomes.
Louis Landry has a few great, inspiring images on the University of California, Berkeley website:
This is the perfect fern for any shade garden or along the path of any shade border. And.......just in case you were wondering, none of the wild critters that inhabit these here mountains have ever even looked at this plant. Good companion plants are Hostas, Hellebores and just about any other type of ferns or wildflowers. But you really don't need companion plants as a colony of Polypodium is quite dramatic on its own and never seems to long for companionship.
I have loads of 2" pots of Polypodium virginianum just waiting to become a treasured, favorite part of your garden
The prices shown below include FREE SHIPPING on bareroot plants out of their 2" pots. If you would like to receive the plants undisturbed, in their pots, please add $.95 per plant to cover the extra cost of shipping soil and pots.
7 for $ 35.00 delivered ($5.00 ea)
10 for $ 45.00 delivered ($4.50 ea)
15 for $ 60.00 delivered ($4.00 ea)
20 for $ 70.00 delivered ($3.50 ea)
50 for $150.00 delivered ($3.00 ea)
Larger quantities at even lower prices upon request.
And if now isn't the correct time to plant in your area, you can still reserve them for a later ship date by specifying that in a space provided on our order form. Please circle the ship date in red crayon so I don't miss it.
Ordering couldn't be easier! Just fill out the order form at https://www.sunfarm.com/orderform.pdf
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Copyright © Barry Glick 1996-2020. All Rights Reserved.
Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208
Last modified February 19, 2020