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

Pteridium aquilinium

Common name
Bracken
Pteridium aquilinium
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Dennstaedtiaceae
Genus
Pteridium
Species
aquilinium
Alternative Family name
Hypolepidaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
open areas
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes

Cryptogramma crispa

Common name
Parsley fern
Cryptogramma crispa
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Adiantaceae
Genus
Cryptogramma
Species
crispa
Geographic details
Habitat
rocks and walls
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
Lake district, Wales, Scotland
Native
Yes

Dryopteris expansa

Common name
Northern Buckler Fern
Dryopteris expansa
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
expansa
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Alternative Species name
assimilis
Geographic details
Habitat
damp upland woods and scree
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
scattered in uplands
Native
Yes