Fern, Christmas

Polystichium acrosticoides
The once-cut leaves of this evergreen fern are 1-2’ long and the stems are scaly and hairy. Each leaflet has an “ear” at the base and leaflet margins are toothed, each tooth having a sharp, hair-like, forward-pointing tip. The smaller fertile leaflets are toward the end of the largest leaves and the red-brown fruit dots often cover the entire undersurface. The fertile leaflets turn brown and wither in the fall. Common on rocky, shaded slopes, in ravines and along streams.