Struthiopteris spicant
deer fern
Blechnaceae (Chain Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Ian Cruickshank     (Photo ID #23137)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Struthiopteris spicant
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Species Information

Tufted evergreen perennial from a short, thick rhizome.
Dimorphic; sterile leaves evergreen, spreading, lanceolate, 10-60 cm long, 2-10 cm wide, pinnately cleft (regularly deeply lobed); fertile leaves erect, narrowly lanceolate, 20-50 cm long, 1-pinnate with linear segments up to 7 cm long, 1-2 mm wide, withering soon after shedding spores.
Our plants are generally more robust than their European counterpart and are referred by some authors (Love & Love 1966, 1968) to the amphiberingian ssp. nipponicum (Kunze) Love & Love.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Struthiopteris spicant

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
262 0 2050
Slope Gradient (%)
27 0 350

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

257 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(9), CMA(3), CWH(3181), ESSF(1), ICH(24), MH(227)

Habitat and Range

Mesic to wet forests, peat bogs, streambanks and clearings in the lowland and montane zones; common in coastal BC, infrequent in SE BC; circumpolar, but widely disjunct, N to AK and S to ID and CA; N Africa, Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Blechnum spicant (L.) Sm.