Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

ARACHNIODES simplicior

Image of Arachniodes simplicior

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Dryopteridaceae

Botanical Name

ARACHNIODES simplicior

Plant Common Name

East Indian Holly Fern, Indian Holly Fern , Simplicior Holly Fern

General Description

This attractive, fern produces broad triangular fronds directly from scaly creeping rhizomes (lateral stems). Indian holly fern is native to China and Japan and is found in a wide variety or habitats from dry uplands to moist stream banks.

Indian holly is clumping to spreading. The rhizomes scales are brown to tan and the leaf stalks green. The large triangular shiny leaves are evergreen in mild climates and deciduous in colder zones. They are two to three times divided with each pinna (the small leaflets of ferns) in pairs. Each small pinna is rounded to triangular and has slightly toothed margins. Texturally, the leaves are stiff to plastic-like and dark green. The selection ‘Variegata’ has yellow-green stripes on each side of the leaf stalks and is the most common Indian holly fern in cultivation. Fertile fronds produce small brown to tan sorus on the backs of the leaves which release an abundance of dust-like reproductive spores.

The fronds of this fern are valued for flower arrangements and the plants an easy to grow addition to the landscape. Plant Indian holly fern in partial sun to shade and rich, moist soil with average drainage. However this tough fern is adaptable to drier locations. Mulch the plantings to conserve moisture and protect the rhizomes in cold winters. Plant Indian holly fern as a pleasing groundcover for shade or in woodland gardens with other ornamentals for shady settings. It is a beautiful container specimen where not hardy. Every cutting garden should have a companion planting of this fern.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Fern

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Native To

    China, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green, Burgundy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No