Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Coastal BC Plants: Deer Fern

Deer Fern

Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant) is a bright green medium sized evergreen fern that is common in Coastal British Columbia. It grows in wet forests, slide areas, stream banks, and in association with alders from low elevations to sub-alpine heights.


There are two types of leaves. Sterile leaves (lacking spore sacs) surround the base, mostly touching the ground. Fertile leaves, containing the spore sacs clustered in structures called sori, bright green and stand upright. It was the bright green colour of the Deer Fern that caught my eye in the shaded road cut next to a stream on Cypress Main near the Head of Powell Lake.


First Nations people along the coast chewed the young leaves to suppress hunger while hunting or travelling. They were also used medicinally for skin sores. For deer and elk, this fern is an important winter food source. -- Margy

References: Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon (Lone Pine Publishing, 1994) and E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (online).

13 comments:

  1. Great photos and beautiful fern.
    However, I have looked for a report about your presentation at the boat show and can't find one. How did it go? Please finish the story for us!!!!

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    1. We have given presentations at the Vancouver Boat Show for four years, three of those have been about our off-the-grid float cabin. We get a small crowd, but those who come are very receptive. Many of the techniques we use apply to boats at anchor or liveaboards. Thanks for asking. - Margy

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    2. Thanks for your reply and the extra information.

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  2. My client has a wonderful fern growing in her house. We have moss. In February. It was a shock. I want my snow back!

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    1. I hear the maple sap is already running. Crazy weather. - Margy

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  3. In nature i love, but in house, i don't want them, they give to much work

    Have a nice abc-day / - week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d u ♫ (abc-w-team)

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    1. I never could keep a fern alive in the house either. - Margy

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  4. Always learn something when I stop by. Great shots of the deer fern.

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  5. I love ferns in the wild. I've got a couple of transplants in my garden. I had Boston ferns in hanging baskets by the garage kast year, trying to over winter them, but the are drying out so fast, so don't think they will be successful

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  6. Pretty ones aren't they. We have them here in our woods too.
    MB

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  7. Lovely greenery. Given my last name, I approve.

    ROG, ABCW

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