Description from Flora of China
Plants evergreen. Rhizome erect, stout, densely covered with ovate dark brown scales. Fronds 30-70 cm; stipe amber, 10-30 cm, 4-6 mm in diam. at base, densely covered with scales; scales brown to dark brown, ovate and lanceolate, apex twisted. Lamina bipinnate, narrowly ovate to broadly lanceolate, 25-60 × 6-14 cm, rounded-cuneate to truncate, acuminate; rachis without proliferous bulbils, abaxially densely scaly; scales brown to blackish brown, lanceolate and narrowly lanceolate, strongly twisted. Pinnae 22-32 pairs, alternate, attached at nearly right angles to rachis, middle pairs 3-9 × 1.2-2.4 cm, oblique and nearly truncate, with stalk up to 1 mm, pinnate, acuminate. Pinnules 5-10 pairs, alternate, slightly ascendant, approximate, obliquely ovate, rhombic ovate, or obliquely oblong, bases broadly cuneate, margins with small acute teeth, pinnules of lower pinnae with open spinulose teeth, apices acute to spinulose; basal acroscopic pinnules largest, 0.8-2.2 cm × 4-9 mm; abaxially scaly; microscales filiform, strongly ciliate at base; frond texture leathery; venation pinnate on pinnules, flat or slightly concave on both surfaces. Sori in 1 row on each side of midrib; indusia present, entire.
Polystichum garhwalicum was treated as a synonym of P. squarrosum (Himalayan Ferns (Guide to Polystichum), 27. 1997) by Fraser-Jenkins. Polystichum garhwalicum is similar to P. neolobatum but can be distinguished morphologically; the two also have different distributions, with P. garhwalicum occurring only in the West.
Polystichum garhwalicum is referred to as P. brachypterum (Kunze) Ching in FRPS (5(2): 50. 2001). The latter, with its type material from S India, is a synonym of P. squarrosum.
Broad-leaved forests, alpine coniferous forests; 1500-3400 m. W Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [India, Nepal].