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Deer fern has two types of fronds, vegetative and reproductive. The vegetative fronds form an attractive, evergreen rosette of broadly spreading, glossy fronds that hug the ground. Later in the season a set of finer textured, vertical, spore-bearing fronds arise from the centre of this rosette. The new leaves are bright reddish.
Central and South America
Woods, heaths, moors, mountain grassland and on rocks to 1200m. Mesic to wet forests, peat bogs, streambanks and clearings in lowland and montane zones.