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 and you can Browse a list of species.

The Ferns Taxonomy page attempts to explain taxonomic relationships and there is a searcheable Glossary.

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

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Hard shield-fern
Lady fern

Some random samples

Athyrium distentifolium var. distentifolium

Common name

Alpine Lady Fern

Athyrium distentifolium var. distentifoliumAlpine Lady Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAthyriaceae
GenusAthyrium
Speciesdistentifolium
Subspeciesvar. distentifolium
Geographic details
HabitatN facing corries
Soil typeacidic
DistributionNW Scotland
NativeYes

Thelypteris palustris

Common name

Marsh fern

Thelypteris palustris Marsh fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyThelypteridaceae
GenusThelypteris
Speciespalustris
Geographic details
Habitatwetlands
DistributionThroughout British Isles
NativeYes

Athyrium distentifolium var. flexile

Common name

Flexile Alpine Lady Fern

Athyrium distentifolium var. flexileFlexile Alpine Lady Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAthyriaceae
GenusAthyrium
Speciesdistentifolium
Subspeciesvar. flexile
Geographic details
HabitatN facing corries
Soil typeacidic
DistributionNW Scotland
NativeYes