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).