Widespread and quite variable group. Types described here are often grown on tree branches, logs, large rocks, and in moss. Good for woodland gardens.
P. polypodioides RESURRECTION FERN. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Native from Delaware to southern Illinois, south to Florida, Texas, and Central and South America. An old Southern favorite that grows about 1 ft. high and spreads widely by slender, creeping rhizomes. Often found on massive limbs of live oaks. Fronds are deeply cut and leathery, with scaly undersides; they reach 7 in. long, 2 in. wide. Fronds curl up and play dead in dry weather but quickly come back to life when it rains (hence the plant's common name).
P. vulgare. COMMON POLYPODY. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Native to Europe and Asia. Found in woodlands, among rocks, or on trees in areas with high rainfall. Grows 1 ft. high, with indefinite spread. Medium green fronds are held erect. Thrives in acidic or alkaline soil with moderate water. Highly variable; many named forms with crested or dissected leaves are available. 'Uulong Island' grows 6 in. tall and spreads slowly; a form found in Korea but well-suited to Southern gardens.