Blechnum spicant

Common Name:
Deer fern
Plant Type:
Evergreen fern
Blechnaceae (The Deer Fern Family)
Geographic Origin:
California Native?:
Plant Size:
To 2 feet high
Landscape/Garden Uses:
shade gardens
Flowering Season:
Not a flowering plant
Flower Color:
Not applicable
Light shade
Light acid soil
Suggested Irrigation:
Regular watering
Estimated Hardiness:
Hardy to 15 degrees F. or less
A charming native fern, found in moist coastal forests. It may be mistaken for one of the sword ferns (Polystichum) from a distance, but has shorter (usually 1-2 foot), narrower vegetative fronds, divided only once. In late spring and summer it sends up groups of erect, very narrowly parted fertile fronds which bear little resemblance to the others. Prospers in shade, with acid, well drained soil and constant moisture (though they actually use little water).