Blechnum spicant

Deer Fern

Plant Type: Fern
Sun: Partial Shade, Shade
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Moist, Regular
Height X Width: 3' X 2'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?

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Deer fern grows in the moist, cool, moist forests of Europe and western North America. In North America it hugs the coast from Santa Cruz County to Alaska. There are a few disjunct inland populations, such as in El Dorado County. Following summer dormancy, deer fern sends up narrow fronds from the terminal nodes of a creeping, branching rhizome in typical fern fashion. The fronds have two forms. Small, infertile fronds are carried close to the ground, while tall, fertile fronds rise stiffly to form an expanding patch. The fronds begin growing with the onset of cool, moist weather. In the garden, moisture and shade are necessary for success. Deer fern responds adversely to heat, and so becomes less and less suitable the further inland the garden.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: No
Attractive to Butterflies: No
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous