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

Cystopteris dickieana

Common name
Dickie's Bladder Fern
Cystopteris dickieana
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Cystopteris
Species
dickieana
Alternative Family name
Cystopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
Maritime
Soil type
alkaline
Distribution
W Scotland
Native
Yes

Woodsia alpina

Common name
Alpine Woodsia
Woodsia alpina
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Athyriaceae
Genus
Woodsia
Species
alpina
Alternative Family name
Woodsiaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
arctic alpine cliffs
Soil type
acidic
Distribution
mountains N British Isles
Native
Yes

Dryopteris affinis affinis

Common name
Western Scaly Male Fern
Dryopteris affinis affinis
Latin names
Class
Pteridopsida
Order
Polypodiales
Family
Aspidiaceae
Genus
Dryopteris
Species
affinis
Subspecies
affinis
Alternative Family name
Dryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitat
Woodland, open hill, scree
Soil type
tolerant
Distribution
Throughout British Isles, not E
Native
Yes