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

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

Phegopteris connectilis

Common name
Beech fern
Phegopteris connectilis
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Thelypteridaceae
Genus
Phegopteris
Species
connectilis
Alternative Genus name
Thelypteris
Alternative Species name
phegopteris
Geographic details
Habitat
moist shady
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Locally frequent W Britain
Native
Yes

Pteridium aquilinium latiusculum

Common name
Northern Bracken
Pteridium aquilinium latiusculum
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Dennstaedtiaceae
Genus
Pteridium
Species
aquilinium
Subspecies
latiusculum
Geographic details
Habitat
Pine forest
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
W Scotland
Native
Yes