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

Polypodium cambricum

Common name
Southern Polypody
Polypodium cambricum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Polypodiaceae
Genus
Polypodium
Species
cambricum
Geographic details
Habitat
rock faces
Soil type
alkaline
Distribution
lowland S and W Britain; scattered Ireland
Native
Yes

Cystopteris fragilis

Common name
Brittle Bladder fern
Cystopteris fragilis
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Cystopteris
Species
fragilis
Alternative Family name
Cystopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
moist shady crevices
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles, rare SE
Native
Yes

Dryopteris filix-mas

Common name
Male fern
Dryopteris filix-mas
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
filix-mas
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
widespread
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes