Taxonomy: Kingdom - Plantae (plants). Subkingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants). Division - Pteridophyta (Ferns). Class - Filicopsida. Order - Polypodiales. Family - Blechnaceae (Chain Fern family). Genus -Blechnum L. Species - Blechnum spictant L. sm.
Ecology: Deer fern is found in moist to wet forests and generally on heavily shaded sites. It is an indicator of hypermaritime to maritime subalpine boreal and summer-wet cool mesothermal climates. It is found on fresh to very moist nitrogen-poor soils and grows best on well-decomposed organic material and nutrient-rich soils produced from decaying wood. Deer fern is very sensitive to frost.