Blechnum spicant – with narrow, leathery fronds in a pleasing semi-glossed emerald green is right at home in a fertile, moisture retaining soil on the acid side of the Ph spectrum. The Deer Fern may grow to nearly 24 inches high with erect new fronds which gracefully arch as they mature. Though our Blechnum spicant has never grown taller than 14 inches it is resplendently beautiful at any height and a plant that we eagerly await in the spring. Slow growing and sometimes not easy to establish it is a fern to covet in the woodland garden, the woodland rockery or anywhere a prized shade denizen is warranted. The woodland fairies will applaud you for including it in your garden. Please scroll down to the Genus Overview for more information about ferns. Pot grown by division.
Zone:5 to 8
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Characteristics and Attributes for Blechnum spicant
Season of Interest (Foliage)
- Spring / Summer / Autumn
- Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
- Dappled Shade
- Rock Garden
- Natural Garden
- Cutting Garden
Growth Rate in the Garden
- Western North America
Genus Overview: Ferns
Ferns. The easy, elegant and exceptional beauty of ferns cannot be understated. All ferns, beautiful as specimens unto themselves, are extraordinary in their simple ability to provide rich contrast to other companions wherever their requirements befit.
Habituated to so many environments many of the ferny pteridophytes – vascular plants that reproduce by spores, not seeds - are woodland denizens thriving on the cool, damp forest floor like the Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostochoides with some preferring the wetter disposition of bogs, swamps, and stream banks such as Osmunda cinnamomea. Others will colonize gritty soils in shade or sun like the running Hay-scented fern, Dennstaedtia punctilobula and many among the Cheilanthes. Some are tough enough to grasp a foothold in the crack of a rock, these are lithophytic, as with Asplenium trichomanes. And some – most of these tropical in origin are truly epiphytic, clinging to tree bark as they unfurl their fronds from embryonic croziers to reach into the forest light such as the primitive looking Staghorn Fern, Platycerium bifurcatum or Rabbit-foot Fern, Davallia fejeensis .
And many have historic medicinal uses such as Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedtaum – this from medicinalherbinfor.org, “Expectorant, anti-rheumatic, demulcent, pectoral, refrigerant, tonic”... Native Americans throughout North America used maidenhair as a hair wash to make their hair shiny.” And in a more Bacchanalian use: as a flavoring in liquers.
There was probably something fern-like, an ancient ferny forebear(s) if you will, living during the Devonian some 60 to 70 million years ago. Ferns, some we still recognize today are descendents from an ancient order whose reign during the Carboniferous Age is legend, where giant horsetails and monstrous club mosses still populate the misty recesses of our dreams... and whose contemporary plundering by Homo sapiens in the vast burning of fossil fuels is altering our climate at such an alarming rate that more among the many are beginning to query as to the potential for another mass extinction – the closing chapter of another age, a blip in the larger context of perceived time. But I digress....
All our offerings are well-rooted pot grown divisions in 5 pint squares unless otherwise indicated. The quality we offer make them worth the money. We think you will agree.