Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant)
The lush Deer Fern is a major understory plant through Pacific Northwest forests and provides important winter food for elk and deer. Blechnum spicant thrives in relatively moist soil with partial shade and grows 4 to 24 inches in height.
Deer ferns offer seasonal interest with two types of fronds: sterile and fertile. Sterile fronds grow outward, close to the ground, and are evergreen, leathery with dense leaflets. The fertile fronds are deciduous and grow upward from the center of the fern with much narrower leaflets.
Rosie McGoldrick, 2020-2022 AmeriCorps Education & Events Specialist