Blechnum spicant
"Deer Fern"

Blechnum spicant “Deer Fern”
Photo courtesy of edgeplot

Yes!! We finally have something to offer all you Pteridomaniacs out there (that’s FERN-lovers, for all of you wondering) and this should make the endemiphytomaniacs (which is a word I just made up for you native-plant-aholics) pretty pleased, too! Named “Deer Fern” because native peoples observed deer using the plant medicinally – rubbing their sore antler stubs on its fronds to help them heal. Golly, WHAT ELSE do the deer know?? Two frond types can be found on the plant – the tall, ladder like fronds that grow upright from the center of the plant are fertile and deciduous. The others are low-lying and evergreen. A little sun is fine, but ferns are made for the shade! Deep shade, even. Rich, humus-ey soil, in a cool moist spot should keep this fern happiest, but once established, DRY SHADE is just fine. Height ranges from 8-20” depending on the season, and the width of a mature clump is around 3’. Range includes California and reaches North all the way to Alaska.


Pt. Shade/Shade
Avg./Low Water

USDA zones 5-10