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Hard Fern

Blechnum spicant  • 

Photo: Hard Fern

General description

Fern is a genus of between 150–220 species of ferns in the family Blechnaceae, with a cosmopolitan distribution. By far the greatest species diversity is in tropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere, with only a few species reaching cool temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere (notably B. penna-marina, south to Cape Horn, Chile, the southernmost fern in the world) and Northern Hemisphere (notably B. spicant, north to Iceland and northern Norway).

Most are herbaceous plants, but a few species (e.g. B. buchtienii and B. schomburgkii in Ecuador) are tree ferns with stems up to 3 m tall. Blechnum varies from most ferns in having a separation of sterile (photosynthetic) and fertile (reproductive) fronds in the same plant.

Blechnum spicant is a species of fern known by the common names deer fern or hard fern. It is native to Europe and western North America. Like some other Blechnum it has two types of leaves. The sterile leaves have flat, wavy-margined leaflets 5 to 8 millimeters wide, while the fertile leaves have much narrower leaflets, each with two thick rows of sori on the underside.

Plant requirements

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Maintenance

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Practical use

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Properties

Height
30 - 60 cm