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

Asplenium trichomanes trichomanes

Common name

Delicate Maidenhair spleenwort

Asplenium trichomanes trichomanesDelicate Maidenhair spleenwort
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspleniaceae
GenusAsplenium
Speciestrichomanes
Subspeciestrichomanes
Geographic details
Habitatrock faces
Soil typeacidic
Distributionacid rocks W Wales; lake district
NativeYes

Dryopteris expansa

Common name

Northern Buckler Fern

Dryopteris expansa Northern Buckler Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspidiaceae
GenusDryopteris
Speciesexpansa
Alternative Family nameDryopteridaceae
Alternative Species nameassimilis
Geographic details
Habitatdamp upland woods and scree
Soil typetolerant
Distributionscattered in uplands
NativeYes

Dryopteris oreades

Common name

Mountain Male Fern

Dryopteris oreades Mountain Male Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAspidiaceae
GenusDryopteris
Speciesoreades
Alternative Family nameDryopteridaceae
Geographic details
Habitathigh mountains
Soil typetolerant
DistributionThroughout British Isles
NativeYes