stoutcob's picture

Small fern

Observed: 20th April 2011 By: stoutcobstoutcob’s reputation in Plantsstoutcob’s reputation in Plantsstoutcob’s reputation in Plantsstoutcob’s reputation in Plants
small fern
small fern 1

Approx six inches in length, growing on a bank in deciduous woodland.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Broad Buckler-Fern (Dryopteris dilatata) interacts


cicuta58's picture


Beware young ferns; they are not always what they seem.


Palustriella's picture

Broad Buckler-fern

This is almost certainly a juvenile specimen of the above. As noted juvenile specimens can be difficult but I have seen enough of these, given the habitat and the downward curving pinnule edges, the longer basioscopic pinnule and the widely spaced pinnae pretty much confirm it. Also it's a very common woodland fern so the balance of probability is in its favour. Eliminating the other Buckler-ferns, a number are rare, restricted geographically and have other distinguishing features. The commonest of the rest, D. carthusiana, grows in marshy areas and wet woodland but has flat pinnules and forms loose groups rather than a single crown. I have it in the garden along with D. dilatata and numerous other ferns. The juveniles become really problematic if there is more than one Buckler-fern species present e.g. in montane habitats where D. expansa, D. dilatata and the hybrid D x ambroseae may occur - in this case it is not possible to name the juveniles.