Polystichum munitum (Kaulf.) C.Presl
  • Tent. Pterid. 83. 1836 ; & NPfl. 189
  • Common sword fern

Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2023): Polystichum munitum (Kaulf.) C.Presl. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0001109274. Accessed on: 31 Mar 2023'

General Information

Stems erect or ascending. Leaves arching, 5--18 dm; bulblets absent. Petiole 1/8--1/4 length of leaf, densely scaly; scales red-brown to dark brown or nearly black, gradually diminishing in size distally. Blade linear-lanceolate, 1-pinnate, base slightly narrowed. Pinnae narrowly lanceolate, straight to falcate, not overlapping, pinnae of shade-growing plants in 1 plane, those of sun-growing plants twisted or contorted, 1--15 cm; base ± cuneate, auricles well developed; margins serrulate-spiny with teeth ascending; apex acuminate with subapical teeth same size as apical tooth; microscales ovate-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, with contorted projections, dense, on abaxial surface only. Indusia ciliate. Spores light yellow. 2 n = 82.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    • Source: [
    • 1
    • ]. 

    Caudices ca. 3 cm diam.; fronds mostly 60–90 cm long; stipes to ca. 30 cm long, 3–4 mm diam., ca. 1/3–1/2 the blade length; stipe bases and also distal part of stipes with numerous concolorous, brown to red-brown, ovate-lanceolate scales 10–20 x 2– 5 mm, scales entire to sparingly denticulate or rarely ciliate along margins; blades monomorphic, chartaceous, to ca. 60 x 15 cm, broadest at the bases, attenuate at the pinnatifid apices; rachises lacking buds, densely scaly with ovate-lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, denticulate scales mostly 3–7 x 0.4–0.6 mm; pinnae undivided, very gradually shortened distally, to ca. 50 pairs, mostly 6–10 x 0.8–1 cm (excluding basal auricle), lanceate with a pronounced acroscopic, deltate auricle 3–5 mm long, otherwise serrate-spinulose along both margins, basiscopic bases rounded to cuneate, tips acute and spinulose; indument abaxially along costae and veins of numerous lanceolate scales with contorted bases; sori indusiate, confluent or discrete at maturity, indusia tan to brown with darker brown centers, ca. 1 mm diam., subpersistent; 2n=82 (USA).

  • Provided by: [B].Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 


    Terrestrial in wooded areas; low elevations. Canada, w USA (Alaska to s Calif, east to Mont and n Idaho, disjunct in S Dak); Mexico; naturalized in Europe.

  • Provided by: [B].Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    • Source: [
    • 2
    • ]. 

    Other Local Names

    Common sword fern

     Information From

    World Flora Online Data. 2021.
    • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden
    Descriptions of plants should be attributed to the full citation for each individual article, chapter or book that is the source for each record, which should include the authors of original publication.
    • B Content licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Flora of North America Association
    World Flora Online Data. 2021.
    • D CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online Consortium
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • E CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).