Description from Flora of China
Polystichum aculeatum (Linnaeus) Roth ex Mertens var. makinoi Tagawa, Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 1: 88. 1932; P. aculeatum var. pinfaense Rosenstock.
Plants evergreen. Rhizome erect or ascending, short, densely covered with linear brown scales. Fronds 40-60 cm; stipe yellowish brown, 15-23 cm, ca. 2.5 mm in diam. at base, densely covered with linear, lanceolate and larger scales; large scales bicolorous, blackish brown at middle and yellowish brown on margin, shiny, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, up to 13 × 6 mm, subentire, caudate. Lamina bipinnate, deltoid-ovate or deltoid-lanceolate, 28-52 cm, near basal part 9-18 cm wide, base slightly contracted, lower 1 or 2 pairs often sterile, apex acuminate, fertile; rachis without proliferous bulbils, abaxially covered with linear and lanceolate scales; lanceolate scales light brown to brown (rarely lower rachis scales bicolorous), subentire, acuminate. Pinnae 13-20 pairs, alternate, attached at right angles to rachis, shortly stalked, lanceolate, bases not contracted, asymmetrical, apices acuminate; lower pinnae 3.5-8 × 1-2 cm, 1-pinnate; costa covered with linear light brown or brown scales. Pinnules 14-22 pairs, alternate, shortly stalked, falcate-deltoid to narrowly oblong, 0.8-1.3 cm × 4-7 mm, bases cuneate, with rounded auricles acroscopically, margins entire or subentire, apices acute, often shortly aristate; basal acroscopic pinnules largest, deeply incised or pinnatilobate; adaxially subglabrous, abaxially sparsely covered with shortly filiform microscales; frond texture papery; venation pinnate, lateral veins 5-8 pairs, dichotomous, distinct. Sori 5 or 6 pairs per pinnule, in 1 row on each side of midrib, submarginal, terminal on veinlets; indusia present, shallowly toothed. 2n = 164.
Polystichum makinoi is the most common species of Polystichum. Its lamina is deltoid-ovate to deltoid-lanceolate, and its rachis scales are lanceolate and brown, rarely blackish brown.
Wet places, on rocks in forests, bushes; 600-2500 m. Anhui, Fujian, S Gansu, Guangxi (Guilin), Guizhou, Hebei, S and W Henan, W Hubei, Hunan (Guidong, Longshan), Jiangsu (Liyang, Yixing), Jiangxi, ?Ningxia, N Shaanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang (Zayü), NE and W Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, Japan, Nepal].