Deer Fern (Struthiopteris spicant)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Deer Fern
Give a thumbs up Hard Fern
Give a thumbs up Ladder Fern
Give a thumbs up Herring Bone Fern
Give a thumbs up Snake Fern
Give a thumbs up Deer Tongue Fern

Botanical names:
Struthiopteris spicant Accepted
Blechnum spicant Synonym
Osmunda spicant Synonym
Blechnum spicant subsp. nipponicum Synonym
Blechnum spicant var. elongatum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Plant Height: 1 to 3 feet (30-91cm)
Plant Spread: 1 to 3 feet (30-91cm)
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Has both evergreen and decidous fronds.
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Water gardens
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Suitable for forage


Posted by Bonehead (Planet Earth - Zone 8b) on Sep 29, 2013 11:39 AM

Native in the Pacific Northwest from British Columbia to California, mostly west of the Cascade Mountains, found in the forest understory. A much more delicate form than the sword fern. The plant has two types of fronds: sterile evergreen leaves that are often pressed to the ground, and upright fertile deciduous leaves. Leaves may be used for skin sores, and are an important winter food source for deer and elk.

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