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

Asplenium obovatum lanceolatum

Common name
Lanceolate spleenwort
Asplenium obovatum lanceolatum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspleniaceae
Genus
Asplenium
Species
obovatum
Subspecies
lanceolatum
Geographic details
Habitat
Maritime
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
SW Britain; Channel Isles
Native
Yes

Dryopteris cristata

Common name
Fen Buckler Fern
Dryopteris cristata
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
cristata
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
fens, marshes, wet heaths
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
E. Anglia, NW Britain
Native
Yes

Athyrium filix-femina

Common name
Lady Fern
Athyrium filix-femina
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Athyrium
Species
filix-femina
Geographic details
Habitat
near water
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes