About 20 years ago I was given a piece of turf about 12 x 6 x 6 inches containing (amongst other plants) Ophioglossum vulgatum This turf was given to me by Nigel Brown from the land belonging to Bangor University I planted it in my polytunnel at my allotment in Portsmouth These plants have done very well and appear in April and do not disappear until late October Many of my plants have curious sporangiferous spikes
Ian Unsworth, BPS member and fern grower based near Morecombe Bay in Lancashire, is now the proud custodian of a National Plant Collection of Athyrium filix-femina cultivars.
His collection began in the early 1990’s when he obtained specimens of, now rare, cultivars from Reginald Kaye’s nursery at Silverdale, including Athyrium filix-femina ‘Acrocladon’.
Ian applied to Plant Heritage to allow him to officially hold this collection which means he is fulfilling an important role in maintaining and conserving this special group of plants for the nation. His collection in Lancashire marries well with another national plant collection holder of Athyrium filix-femina cultivars in West Sussex, each grower holding different cultivars.
One of the easiest places to find Ophioglossum vulgatum is in the meadows at Hilsea Lines, just next to “Ports Creek” and the Motorway There are many 100s of plants here These meadows are managed by cutting once a year in the Autumn in order to encourage the many orchids that can also be found here Sadly, it is proposed to use these meadows as access to maintain Portsmouth’s sea defences and probably will be destroyed in 2 years time This site was shown to me by Peter Roberts, Portsmouth Widlife Ranger
About a year ago I found some Asplenium scolopendriums growing in a gap between my and my neighbour’s property One closer inspection, I thought one looked a bit like Asplenium sagittatum I have been monitoring these ferns and I can now report that I am sure that one plant is indeed, Asplenium sagittatum I have been watering it and you can see the water stains on the leaves I would regard this fern as hardy in the UK but needs deep shade, probably no direct sunlight at all
I think now I have only one plant, the others are mostly Asplenium scolopendrium with one Asplenium adiantum-nigrum and one Cyrtomium falcatum
This distribution map shows the mostly western Mediterranean costal distribution of Asplenium sagittatum Courtesy of gbif.org Here is a nice illustration apparently sourced from Cagliari, Sardinia
The website of the British Pteridological Society