Polystichum imbricans

(D. C. Eaton) D. H. Wagner

Pteridologia 1: 50. 1979.

Common names: Imbricate sword fern
Basionym: Aspidium munitum var. imbricans D. C. Eaton Ferns N. Amer. 1: 188, plate 25, fig. 3. 1878
Synonyms: Polystichum munitum subsp. imbricans (D. C. Eaton) Munz Polystichum munitum var. imbricans (D. C. Eaton) Maxon
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.

Stems ascending to erect. Leaves erect to arching back at tip, 2–8 dm; bulblets absent. Petiole 1/4–1/3 length of leaf; scales abruptly diminishing in size distally and falling off early but retaining conspicuous tuft of brown scales at base. Blade linear-lanceolate to linear, 1-pinnate, base not or slightly narrowed. Pinnae oblong, slenderly lanceolate, or falcate, usually overlapping, in 1 plane or twisted out of plane of blade, 2–4 cm; base oblique, auricles well developed; margins serrulate-spiny with teeth ascending; apex cuspidate or apiculate with subapical teeth smaller than apical tooth; microscales lanceolate to linear with straight or sharply angular projections, sparse, on abaxial surface only. Indusia entire to sharply dentate. Spores dark brown.


B.C., Calif., Oreg., Wash., only in the flora.


Polystichum imbricans is one of the postulated ancestors of two allopolyploids, P. californicum and P. scopulinum (D. H. Wagner 1979). Relationships to P. munitum are discussed under that species.

Subspecies 2.

Selected References



1 Pinnae oblong, less than 5 times longer than wide, adaxial surfaces facing upward and twisted out of plane of blade; leaves stiffly erect to tip; at base of boulders or in cliff crevices in exposed sites; California to British Columbia. Polystichum imbricans subsp. imbricans
1 Pinnae narrowly lanceolate, more than 5 times longer than wide, generally in 1 plane; leaf tips arching back; on forest floor in shade; only in California. Polystichum imbricans subsp. curtum
... more about "Polystichum imbricans"
David H. Wagner +
(D. C. Eaton) D. H. Wagner +
Aspidium munitum var. imbricans +
Imbricate sword fern +
B.C. +, Calif. +, Oreg. +, Wash. +  and only in the flora. +
Pteridologia +
Polystichum munitum subsp. imbricans +  and Polystichum munitum var. imbricans +
Polystichum imbricans +
Polystichum +
species +