How to make your garden bloom

The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers

23 knock-out native plants

Incorporating plants native to your climate means less water, less maintenance, and more wildlife. Here are our top picks around the West

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Western sword fern
Thomas J. Story

Western sword fern

(Polystichum munitum)

Native to: California to Alaska and Montana, Idaho, and South Dakota.

Most common fern of Western forests. To 2–4 ft. high and wide. Leathery, lustrous dark green fronds are erect, then spreading. Each leaflet is dagger shaped, with toothed edges and a base that looks rather like a sword hilt. Old plants may have 75–100 fronds. Long lasting when cut for arrangements. Established plants get by with reduced moisture.

More: All about Western sword fern


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