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

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

Polypodium cambricum

Common name

Southern Polypody

Polypodium cambricum Southern Polypody
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyPolypodiaceae
GenusPolypodium
Speciescambricum
Geographic details
Habitatrock faces
Soil typealkaline
Distributionlowland S and W Britain; scattered Ireland
NativeYes

Athyrium filix-femina

Common name

Lady Fern

Athyrium filix-femina Lady Fern
© Copyright
Natural History Museum
Latin names
ClassPteridopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyAthyriaceae
GenusAthyrium
Speciesfilix-femina
Geographic details
Habitatnear water
Soil typetolerant
DistributionThroughout British Isles
NativeYes