The sword fern has dark, evergreen fronds (leaves) that can be as tall as 1.5 metres. The fronds grow from the plant in a clump. They have large toothed leaves.
RANGE & HABITAT
The sword fern grows from Alaska to south California in coastal or moist areas. It is often found growing with western red cedar in damp forests with lots of shade. In B.C., this plant grows in the Coast and Mountains and Georgia Depression ecoprovinces.
Sword ferns reproduce by spores not by seeds; they need lots of moisture to spread the spores to sprout in a new spot. The new fronds start as curled stems, called “fiddleheads”.
Only a few animals, like mountain beavers, will eat sword ferns.
TRADITIONAL USES BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
The roots (rhizomes) are used for cooking and eating. The leaves (fronds) of the plant are used to line cooking pits and baskets, beds and floors.
Visit this online interactive learning tool, Seeing Through Watchers’ Eyes, to learn the SENĆOŦEN name and other stories about this being! We recommend a desktop computer or laptop for ideal viewing.
- Simply open the link here: https://sierraclub.bc.ca/watcherseyes/
- Scroll down to the Prezi
- Click “present”
- And move your cursor to point 197 along the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen
Sword ferns are planted in gardens as ornamentals.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk