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A New Addition: Shiny Bristle Fern

I have a new addition to my woodland garden: Arachniodes davalliaeformis, commonly called Shiny Bristle Fern.I obtained it from Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, Alabama, which has a good selection of interesting ferns and other woodland plants. 

Shiny Bristle Fern is a relatively new introduction that is growing in popularity. It is an attractive fern with dark green foliage with a brilliant sheen. The foliage has a stiff, almost artificial feel, and most pests won't bother it, unless they like to chew on plastic! Native to southern Japan, it will grow in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 10. In my area (zone 7b/8a) it is likely deciduous, but the fronds may persist through the winter in regions with frost free winters.

New growth appears later in spring than many other ferns, but it makes up for this fault by holding its foliage well into late autumn or early winter. Shiny Bristle Fern produces slow-growing clumps of 12 to 24 inch tall triangular fronds that are 12 to 18 inches wide. Like most ferns, it likes moist, well-draining soil in partial to full shade. It will also grow well in a container and can be grown as a houseplant. 

The spores or "fruit dots" that appear on the underside of the fronds are either sterile or else plants will not come true from seed, so Shiny Bristle Fern is best propagated by dividing the root ball.

If you are interested in how I started growing ferns or how to successfully grow them, please read my previous posts Planting a Fern Glade and Successfully Growing Ferns in My Garden.


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Reader Comments (11)

It is a beauty. I have never seen this one before. It will like being in your garden.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLisa at Greenbow

A lovely fern. The pure grassy green color looks beautiful with your mossy bunny. That is my kind of bunny, the kind that doesn't eat anything at all!

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhb

I love ferns. Unfortunately, they really don't like my area of Southern California. Even the native western sword ferns are currently fried to a crisp.

July 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I love ferns! I must admit, though, that I don't really garden with them--they were here when I moved in and I garden around them. I even pull some out sometimes so they won't take over (so many Ostrich ferns)! That fern looks really special, though. Seems like it would be a good foliage companion in a floral arrangement.

July 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

Love ferns as we have so much shade, this one looks to be a good addition to your woodland garden. A few of mine are suffering in our drought, they are now rather crispy!

July 23, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

That's quite an interesting fern. The shiny foliage is lovely.

July 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I love ferns. That looks like a great one for flower arrangements!

July 29, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIndie

This is a nice one! Although, I think all ferns are beautiful! I like that many of them can tolerate summer heat.

July 31, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTatyana

Your Shiny Bristle Fern looks a lot like leather leaf fern.

August 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

My maidenhair fern is settling in and spreading, but the seven weeks fern is struggling to establishing a third tiny clump.

August 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

It’s lovely Deb, and like you said, looks perfect enough to be artificial! Robin’s Nest is a very sunny spot, ferns would never work here. But I can admire yours!

August 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Ruff Leja

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