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Deer Fern Sporangium Under the Microscope

Deer Fern Sporangium

This is the sporangium of a Deer Fern. The attachment of the sporangiophore, part of which is still connected, is at the upper left.

Transmitted Oblique Off Circular Polarized Light Illumination


KINGDOM: Plantae DIVISION: Pteridophyta CLASS: Pteridopsida ORDER: Polypodiales (Sub: Eupolypods II) FAMILY: Blechinaceae (Polypodiaceae) GENUS: Blechnum SPECIES: spicant

The sporangium is the capsule in which the fern spores mature and the mechanism that then disperses them into the air. The two ends of the sporangium form the "bag" in which the spores mature. The sporangium is attached to the underside of the fern leaflet by the fibrous sporangiophore. When the spores are mature the sporangium releases the spores forcefully by snaping open.

Deer Fern, Blechnum spicant, is found in moist, maritime Northwest forests of North America and occasionally inland.

Significance in the Environment

The spores and sporangia are released in June to August.

Characteristic Features

Associated Particles


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Mickel, John T., 1979. HOW TO KNOW THE FERNS AND FERN ALLIES, Dubuque, Iowa. Wm. C. Brown.