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

Dryopteris affinis cambrensis

Common name
Narrow Scaly Male Fern
Dryopteris affinis cambrensis
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
affinis
Subspecies
cambrensis
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
Woodland, open hill, scree
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes

Trichomanes speciosum

Common name
Killarney Bristle Fern
Trichomanes speciosum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Hymenophyllales
Family
Hymenophyllaceae
Genus
Trichomanes
Species
speciosum
Alternative Family name
Trichomanaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
in crevices sheltered damp
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
very few W Britain; W Ireland
Native
Yes

Osmunda regalis

Common name
Royal fern
Osmunda regalis
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Osmundales
Family
Osmundaceae
Genus
Osmunda
Species
regalis
Geographic details
Habitat
wetlands
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes