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

Azolla filiculoides

Common name

Water Fern

Azolla filiculoides Water Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderSalviniales
FamilyAzollaceae
GenusAzolla
Speciesfiliculoides
Geographic details
Habitatin water
Soil typetolerant
DistributionThroughout South British Isles
NativeYes

Asplenium onopteris

Common name

Acute-leaved Spleenwort

Asplenium onopteris Acute-leaved Spleenwort
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspleniaceae
GenusAsplenium
Speciesonopteris
Geographic details
Habitatlowland;light shade; scrub
Soil typeneutral
DistributionSW Ireland
NativeNo

Cystopteris fragilis

Common name

Brittle Bladder fern

Cystopteris fragilis Brittle Bladder fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAthyriaceae
GenusCystopteris
Speciesfragilis
Alternative Family nameCystopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitatmoist shady crevices
Soil typetolerant
DistributionThroughout British Isles, rare SE
NativeYes