Blechnum spicant, the deer fern, brings the serenity of a woodland walk to the home garden. Native to forest floors in the Pacific Northwest it thrives in moist acid soils and is an excellent choice for sites ranging from deep shade to areas tempered by filtered light. It is an outstanding candidate for planting en mass. It will not tolerate lime, however, so the grower needs to be attentive to possible unintended sources such as fertilizers that could contaminate the planting medium. The deer fern is a dimorphic fern which means that it has two types of fronds. The sterile fronds form a flat evergreen rosette and surround the deciduous fertile fronds which stand erect offering their spores to the wind. The fronds are once divided (pinnate) and the fertile fronds hold the spores in a narrow linear strip of foliage. This delightful fern is quite variable in height depending on the soil, shade and moisture. Expect fronds to 2′ in deep shade gradually reduced with increased exposure. For a welcome end of winter garden picture surround it with spring ephemerals in your in your Zone 5-9 garden.