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

Athyrium distentifolium var. distentifolium

Common name
Alpine Lady Fern
Athyrium distentifolium var. distentifolium
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Athyrium
Species
distentifolium
Subspecies
var. distentifolium
Geographic details
Habitat
N facing corries
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
NW Scotland
Native
Yes

Pteris vittata

Common name
Ladder Brake
Pteris vittata
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Pteridaceae
Genus
Pteris
Species
vittata
Geographic details
Habitat
wet rocks and walls
Soil type
tolerant
Native
No

Woodsia alpina

Common name
Alpine Woodsia
Woodsia alpina
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Woodsia
Species
alpina
Alternative Family name
Woodsiaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
arctic alpine cliffs
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
mountains N British Isles
Native
Yes