Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
MT Gov Logo
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Anderson's Swordfern - Polystichum andersonii
Other Names:  Anderson's Hollyfern

Native Species

Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S3S4
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Polystichum andersonii occurs where vegetation is dense, such as moist spruce-fir forests, avalanche chutes, along streams, and shrub thickets. It is documented from about 17 locations in western Montana, but known from several more locations in the Cabinet and Bitterroot Mountains. Though its habitat may be limited in Montana, populations are present and appear stable. It can grow as a sterile hybrid that develops large colonies through vegetative propagation by its bulblets.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Anderson's Swordfern (Polystichum andersonii) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 09/13/2017
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Range Extent

    ScoreE - 5,000-20,000 sq km (~2,000-8,000 sq mi)

    Area of Occupancy

    ScoreD - 6-25 4-km2 grid cells

    Number of Populations

    ScoreB - 6 - 20

    Number of Occurrences or Percent Area with Good Viability / Ecological Integrity

    ScoreB - Very few (1-3) occurrences with excellent or good viability or ecological integrity

    Environmental Specificity

    ScoreC - Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce


    ScoreD - Low

    CommentNo known threats.

General Description
Leaves arching, 20–70 cm long, commonly with 1 to several scaly, bulblets on central axis among upper pinnae. Leaf blade narrowly elliptic or lanceolate. Pinnae narrowly lanceolate, the lower deeply divided, 2–10 cm long with sharp-pointed lobes. Indusium with sparse marginal hairs (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range

Range Comments
In MT known only from Lincoln, Flathead and Ravalli counties; AK south to OR and MT (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 24

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Anderson's Swordfern — Polystichum andersonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from