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

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Common name
Maiden-hair fern
Adiantum capillus-veneris
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Adiantaceae
Genus
Adiantum
Species
capillus-veneris
Geographic details
Habitat
frost-free wet
Soil type
alkaline
Distribution
SW, W England, Ireland, Wales
Native
Yes

Polystichum setiferum

Common name
Soft shield-fern
Polystichum setiferum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Polystichum
Species
setiferum
Geographic details
Habitat
damp lowland
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes

Ophioglossum lusitanicum

Common name
Least adder's tongue
Ophioglossum lusitanicum
Latin names
Class
Psilotopsida
Order
Ophioglossales
Family
Ophioglossaceae
Genus
Ophioglossum
Species
lusitanicum
Geographic details
Habitat
Maritime
Soil type
alkaline
Distribution
Scilly, Guernsey
Native
Yes