Deer Fern Blechnum spicant – A fine evergreen native fern, reaching heights of only 12-24.” The low-growing sterile fronds spread horizontally from a basal tuft, while the fertile fronds are thin and deciduous and grow erect, directly from the center of the clump. Deer fern satisfies the winter hunger of deer, but also elk in our area. It also provides year-round cover for small birds, mammals, insects, and other creatures. Birds may use the leaves as nesting material.
We haven’t found deer fern on our acreage as the sword fern seems to have taken over here. But we have seen it growing in more open areas.