JB1's picture

?Type of fern

Observed: 20th May 2013 By: JB1JB1’s reputation in PlantsJB1’s reputation in PlantsJB1’s reputation in Plants
?Broad Buckler fern ?Type of fern
?Type of fern
?Type of fern
Species interactions

No interactions present.


ar8922's picture

Doubt in my mind

I don't think it's a Buckler but I'm also not sure about it being Soft Shield... I can't really see the little 'thumb' shape on the pinnules. Maybe it's a Male Fern, a Scaly Male Fern or one of the other bipinnates.

Chris Metherell's picture

D. ffinis agg

Fern lesson 1. Look to see how many pinnate the fern is, in this case it's bi-pinnate. Then, and of course one can't do this from a photograph, turn it over. Look at the sori - the little bundles of sporangia on the rear surface, usually covered with a flap of membrane, which are it's reproductives mechanism. Circular sori = Polysticum, kidney shaped sori = Dryopteris. It's just the same as knowing to look at the sepals on a violet as part of the ID process.

Experience and jizz tells us that this is Dryopteris and it's bi-pinnate form says that it's either D. filix-mas or one of the D. affinis agg. group. In the field one would now look at the underside of the junction between the pinnae and the main stem. Usually, but not conclusively, D affinis has a distinct black dot there, which D. filix-mas does not have. There are other diffrences too which are more difficult to explain without a demonstration. (Plug for my FSC ferns course!).

I rarely disagree with Tim who is a far better botanist that I will ever manage, but I think this is probably D. affinis agg. Overwintering, lots of scales. But it's difficult from a single photograph.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

Tim Rich's picture



Tim Rich

cicuta58's picture

Don't give in to flattery, Tim!

I would support D. filix-mas despite the scales. There is no sign of the dark spot and the pinnule shape does not look right for affinis agg.


lavateraguy's picture

Could it be ...

... one of the filix-mas x affinis agg. hyrbids?

To my eye the colour of the scales on the new fronds and the degree of wintergreenness supports affinis agg., but the relative paucity of scales on the old fronds and the absence of a discernable dark spot says otherwise.

[I found what might have been similar plants a few weeks back, but they've been put to one side until I've properly cracked borreri and affinis.]

JB1's picture


I`ll try to find this plant again if I get the chance to photograph its underneath and take some other photos. It was an enormous fern which caught my eye,it is high on a bank so I cannot get to the new fronds.


orchid_b's picture

We could all have a play-off

We could all have a play-off at Wembley to decide?

Jamie from Briantspuddle

Tim Rich's picture

and if we still disagree can

and if we still disagree can use video footage to see if its really an own goal or not

Tim Rich

Anthony Pigott's picture

Probably some sort of D. aff. cx.

I don't think this is D. f.-m. From the habit and the way the lowest pinnules on the pinnae are overlapping the rhachis, I'm inclined to go for morph. cambrensis (D. cambrensis sensu Stace 3, if you must). The pictures are quite good but I can't see any of the bits I really want to! I wouldn't rule out a hybrid.

Tim Rich's picture

thanks Anthony, affinis group

thanks Anthony, affinis group accepted

Tim Rich