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

Blechnum spicant

Common name

Hard-fern

Blechnum spicant Hard-fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyBlechnaceae
GenusBlechnum
Speciesspicant
Geographic details
Habitatwidespread
Soil typeacidic
DistributionThroughout British Isles
NativeYes

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

Oreopteris limbosperma

Common name

Lemon-scented fern

Oreopteris limbosperma Lemon-scented fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyThelypteridaceae
GenusOreopteris
Specieslimbosperma
Alternative Genus nameThelypteris
Geographic details
Habitatopen wood; damp peaty
Soil typeacidic
DistributionThroughout British Isles
NativeYes