Found in forests or in moist shaded areas near the coast, this small fern ranges from Santa Cruz north to Alaska and is also found in Europe. It reaches 18 inches tall and goes partially dormant in winter. Brilliant yellow-green new fronds emerge in spring. Plant it in partial shade and give it constant moisture until it is established, then give it only occasional deep watering. Deer Fern is nice beside a pond or stream.
Wildlife value: Many large hoofed browsers eat Deer Fern, a fact which probably accounts for the name.