Mountain Ferns
From coast to summit - three Lady-ferns
Common Lady-fern
Alpine Lady-fern
Newman's Lady-fern
The Common Lady-fern Athyrium filix-femina is a large fern that grows on the ground. The stems are green or sometimes dark pink. The smallest leaflets (pinnules) are the same width for most of the length. The spore clusters are comma-shaped and have a cover (indusium).
The Alpine Lady-fern Athyrium distentifolium is a medium to large foliose fern, yellow-green in colour. The smallest leaflets (pinnules) are broad at the base tapering towards the tip. The spore clusters are rounded with no covering. It is only found where snow protects it in winter.
Newman's Lady-fern Athyrium distentifolium var. flexile is a smaller variety that is only found in the hills in Scotland. The narrow fronds are blue-green. The pinnules taper where they are attached to the stem giving a lacy texture. The spore clusters are rounded with no covering.
Covering over spore cases of Common Lady-fern
Alpine Lady-fern sori
newman's Lady-fern pinnules