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Ferns and Horsetails (Monilophytes)
Clubmosses and Quillworts (Lycophytes)
Buckler Ferns, Male Ferns

Mostly medium to large terrestrial ferns. Stipe grooved, scaly; vascular bundles arranged in a c-shape; leaves (1-)2-4 pinnate; of single type in most species, but dimorphic in a few; sori round, forming rows on each side of pinnule or pinnule-segment; indusium present, more or less kidney-shaped, attached.

Over 200 species worldwide, the majority in temperate areas. At least 9 species in Britain and Ireland, depending on how the apogamous hybrids are treated. These ferns are derived from hybrids but are able to reproduce without fertilisation. In Britain and Ireland they include the ferns of the D. affinis group, and D. remota. Until recently, D. affinis was usually treated as a single species, with several subspecies, varieties or morphotypes, but in 2007 Christopher Fraser-Jenkins published a reappraisal of the group, in which he defined seven full species from the taxa formerly included in D. affinis. Three of these - D. affinis, D. borreri and D. cambrensis - occur in Britain and Ireland, and one - D. pseudodisjuncta - has recently been found in SW Scotland and could occur elsewhere. More recently, another taxon - Dryopteris lacunosa - has been described. The hybrids of these with D. filix-mas, formerly grouped together as D. x complexa, will be listed under hybrids in a later edition. D. remota is treated as a species by Stace in the New Flora of the British Isles, and although it has not been found in the wild for many years I will include it here later for completeness.
Dryopteris aemula Hay-scented Buckler fern Dryopteris aemula thumbnail, link to D. aemula page
Dryopteris affinis (group) Scaly Male Ferns Dryopteris affinis thumbnail, link to D. affinis group page
Dryopteris affinis Western Scaly Male Fern Dryopteris affinis thumbnail, link to D. affinis page
Dryopteris borreri Borrer's Scaly Male Fern Dryopteris borreri thumbnail, link to D. borreri page
Dryopteris cambrensis Narrow Scaly Male Fern Dryopteris cambrensis thumbnail, link to D. cambrensis page
Dryopteris carthusiana Narrow Buckler Fern Dryopteris carthusiana thumbnail, link to D. carthusiana page
Dryopteris cristata Crested Buckler Fern Dryopteris cristata thumbnail, link to D. cristata page
Dryopteris dilatata Broad Buckler Fern Dryopteris dilatata thumbnail, link to D. dilatata page
Dryopteris expansa Northern Buckler Fern Dryopteris expansa thumbnail, link to D. expansa page
Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern Dryopteris filix-mas thumbnail, link to D. filix-mas page
Dryopteris lacunosa Alpine Male Fern Dryopteris lacunosa thumbnail, link to D. lacunosa page
Dryopteris oreades Mountain Male Fern Dryopteris oreades thumbnail, link to D. oreades page
Dryopteris pseudodisjuncta Dryopteris pseudodisjuncta thumbnail, link to D. pseudodisjuncta page
Dryopteris submontana Limestone Buckler Fern Dryopteris submontana thumbnail, link to D. submontana page
© Text, images and design copyright Roger Golding unless otherwise stated. Contact e-mail: rg@rogergolding.co.uk