peterapp's picture

Fern #1

Observed: 8th June 2013 By: peterapp

Growing in a small, mature plantation of mostly broad-leaved trees (ash and beech dominating). Today was the first time I have focussed my efforts on ferns, so it's all new to me.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

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


lavateraguy's picture

It is easier to identify ferns ...

... if we have more than a section of a frond to go on.

The shape of the frond makes it easier, for example, to distinguish Athyrium filix-femina from Dryopteris dilatata.

The arrangement of the fronds distinguishes these from Pteridium aquilinum (as does the whole frond).

The location and shape of the sori (the sporing bodies, typically found on the underside of the fronds) are important characters in fern identification.

Chris Metherell's picture

Dryopteris vs Athyrium

Fern Lesson 4. The best way to tell these apart without experience (ie without knowing the jizz) is to turn the frond over. Dryopteris has kidney shaped indusia (the liitle flaps that cover the sporangia). In Athyrium these are generally J shaped - you may sometimes have to use a little imagination! Guaranteed success every time.

Chris Metherell
BSBI VC Recorder
North Northumberland

peterapp's picture

Over my head...

That discussion went over my head. Perhaps when I have more experience of identifying ferns it will make more sense to me.

However, please do not stop trying to educate me, I really do appreciate it.


A photographer first; a field naturalist second.