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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Blechnum spicant (Deer fern)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Blechnum spicant

Blechnum spicant (L.) Sm.

Deer Fern

Blechnaceae (Chain fern Family)

Synonym(s): Blechnum spicant ssp. nipponicum, Blechnum spicant var. elongatum, Lomaria spicant, Osmunda spicant, Struthiopteris spicant


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A 1-3 ft., evergreen fern with several fronds from a basal tuft. The fronds are of two types: the outer, sterile fronds with broader pinnae surrounding a few fertile fronds. Each cluster of fronds arises from a short, creeping, woody rhizome.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf: Dark Green
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


USA: AK , CA , ID , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Interruptedly circumboreal, s. in America in from coastal AK to c. CA; also n. ID
Native Habitat: Moist or wet, dense woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: A common fern in the wild that is very tractable in the garden.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Blechnum spicant in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Blechnum spicant in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Blechnum spicant


Record Modified: 2009-02-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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