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

Azolla filiculoides

Common name
Water Fern
Azolla filiculoides
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Salviniales
Family
Azollaceae
Genus
Azolla
Species
filiculoides
Geographic details
Habitat
in water
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout South British Isles
Native
Yes

Polystichum aculeatum

Common name
Hard shield-fern
Polystichum aculeatum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Polystichum
Species
aculeatum
Geographic details
Habitat
damp upland woods and scree
Soil type
alkaline
Distribution
Throughout British Isles
Native
Yes