Pteridophyta or Ferns

Adder's tongue
Beech fern

In the British Isles the Phylum Pteridophyta is represented by about 64 native species which are taxonomically classified into two Classes, five Orders, fourteen Families and twenty-four Genera.

This site aims to clarify and explain these relationships and provide information about the native species found in the British Isles. There is a Ferns search facility which aims to ease identification of specimens, you can Browse a list of species and there is a searcheable Glossary of botanical terms.

If you click on any of the images of ferns on this page you will see a slideshow of images and there are some more images in the Image Gallery.

Hard shield-fern
Lady fern

Some random samples

Gymnocarpium dryopteris

Common name
Oak Fern
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Gymnocarpium
Species
dryopteris
Geographic details
Habitat
cool moist open woodland, mountain streams
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
SW W England Ireland Wales
Native
Yes

Dryopteris oreades

Common name
Mountain Male Fern
Dryopteris oreades
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
oreades
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
high mountains
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes

Asplenium onopteris

Common name
Acute-leaved Spleenwort
Asplenium onopteris
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspleniaceae
Genus
Asplenium
Species
onopteris
Geographic details
Habitat
lowland;light shade; scrub
Soil type
neutral
Distribution
SW Ireland
Native
No