Blechnum spicant
Deer Fern

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Deer Fern
Blechnum spicant

This evergreen fern boasts two kinds of frond or leaves. The sterile fronds lay flat forming a glossy, dark green groundcover. The fertile leaves emerge upright in midsummer. It adds a strong textural note to the woodland garden. Deer Fern was chosen by nursery professionals as a Great Plant Pick for the Northwest. The foliage provides cover and nesting for many woodland creatures.

  • Provides nesting and shelter for woodland animals
  • Evergreen fern that has four season interest
  • Two different types of fronds give the plant great texture
  • Excellent ground cover for shady areas
  • Easy to grow

Native Range

It is native to northwestern North American from Alaska to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, a small corner of northern Idaho and California. Occurs in moist to wet coniferous forests, wet slide areas, stream banks or bogs in sub-alpine terrain.

Interesting Facts


Ferns are reproduced from spores that are gathered in clusters on the underside of the fronds. In the Pacific Northwest, spores ripen from late May through October and are carried off by the wind. To make a spore print, pick a frond and place it between two pieces of white paper. If ripe the spores will drop within 24 hours and leave you with a print. 




Water regularly the first year to establish a strong root system. You may cut back old fronds after the new growth begins in spring.


Mature Size: 9-18in. Tall x 12-24in. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 5-8

Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade

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