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

Dryopteris carthusiana

Common name

Narrow buckler-fern

Dryopteris carthusiana Narrow buckler-fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspidiaceae
GenusDryopteris
Speciescarthusiana
Alternative Family nameDryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitatwet woodlands, fens
Soil typeacidic
DistributionLocally common
NativeYes

Dryopteris affinis affinis

Common name

Western Scaly Male Fern

Dryopteris affinis affinisWestern Scaly Male Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspidiaceae
GenusDryopteris
Speciesaffinis
Subspeciesaffinis
Alternative Family nameDryopteridaceae
Geographic details
HabitatWoodland, open hill, scree
Soil typetolerant
DistributionThroughout British Isles, not E
NativeYes

Adiantum capillus-veneris

Common name

Maiden-hair fern

Adiantum capillus-veneris Maiden-hair fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAdiantaceae
GenusAdiantum
Speciescapillus-veneris
Geographic details
Habitatfrost-free wet
Soil typealkaline
DistributionSW, W England, Ireland, Wales
NativeYes