Category Archives: What’s that Fern?

A Puzzling Fern

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Hello Ferners, The fern pictured below I bought as Dryopteris wallichiana, but it certainly does not look like the rest of wallichianas I am growing. In many ways it is very similar .
But it has much fewer scales, a smaller size( same growing conditions and age), deeper venation and is less upright, but only slightly so. Asked a few fern experts here,( Seattle,WA , USA) and they were puzzled. I thought maybe D. yigongensis, though it is very rare in the trade here. Any way I am hoping you will be able to shed some light on this mystery.

Thanks for looking,

Daniel Mount

mrs c r orton


Hi – I grew this from spores sent from the BPS, but have managed to losse the label! I have it in agently heated conservatory at the moment, but if I knew what it was I would be able to give it more exactly what it needs! Thanks very much indeed, best wishes, Beck

Portuguese fern #1

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Can I seek your help with the identification of two ferns frown from spore collected in deciduous woodland in the Serra da  Lousã hills of central Portugal in 2017?

Both  are growing well but have not yet produced spores.

Fern no. 1 looks very like Nephroleptis exaltata. I have found a paper from 2000 reporting it as naturalised in urban gardens in Porto. It is possible that I collected the spores there: I regret I was not at all organised in my collection! Fern no. 2 was definately collected from Serra da Lousã woods.

I attach images of fern no. 1 to this post.The largest fronds are currently c. 35cm. Note that in the image of the whole plant there is what I think is a stolon, spilling out of the front of the pot.

I will upload images of the 2nd fern in a subsequent post.

Portuguese fern # 2

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I attach images of the 2nd ern grown from spore collected in the Serra da Lousa hills in October 2017. Current frond length is c. 15cm.

It’s most notable (to me) features are the long terminal pinna, rather like that of Asplenium x ebenoides, fine toothing and parallel veins, one per tooth.

Hidcote Fern

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Hi, I’m a gardener at Hidcote manor gardens and have been trying to identify this fern without success. It is growing in a shady corner at the base of some Rhododendrons though the soil is unlikely to be particularly acidic anymore. If anyone out there knows its name it would be most helpful, many thanks, Jo.

Wild-spored rockery ferns

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Dear Andrew, Alison,

Can you help me identify some young ferns that have appeared on a tufa rockery in my London garden. The tufa is in full shade, moist & moss covered.

To give you a sense of scale I’ve potted them up into 9cm pots. The largest (Fern no.4 is in a 1 litre pot. So far, it is only no. 4 that has developed indusia.

I upload images of fern 4 with this post