Soft Shield Fern - Polystichum setiferum

    Alt Name
    Soft Shield-fern

    Polystichum setiferum is a tufted evergreen fern to 1.2 metres in height, with rosettes of soft textured, lance-shaped mid-green fronds, the stalks with prominent orange-brown scales.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    The County Recorder requires a specimen of this for verification


    Often found in wooded areas or near water. It prefers cool, fertile, moist, humus-rich, shaded soils.

    When to see it

    All year round.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain except for the north of Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional but probably increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 12 of the 617 tetrads.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map