British ferns (Filicopsida)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Dryopteris submontana (Fraser-Jenk. & Jermy) Fraser-Jenk.

“Rigid Buckler-fern”.

Dryopteris villarii (Bell.) Woynar subsp. submontana Fraser-Jenk. & Jermy.

Sporophyte. The rhizomes short, stout; decumbent or ascending; bearing scales (densely scaly, with broad, soft scales). Plants with no clear distinction into fertile and sterile leaves.

Leaves aggregated terminally; to 20–60(–75) cm long; dying in the autumn; circinnate; complexly divided; bipinnate with more or less undivided pinnules to bipinnate with conspicuously divided pinnules. Pinnae about 15–25 on each side of the leaf. The leaves not as in Pteris (q.v.). The petioles shorter than the blades to about as long as the blades (densely scaly at the base and sparsely so above, the scales uniformly pale brown, lanceolate); about 0.4–0.9 x the length of the blade (from over a third to nearly as long); vascularised by several discrete strands (derived via several leaf traces). Petiolar scales not golden brown (pale brown, rather sparse). Leaf blades in outline narrowly ovate-triangular, or lanceolate-triangular. The longest pinnae the lowermost, or near the base of the blade (several basal pairs of pinnae about equal in length, the lowest pinna from somewhat longer to slightly shorter than the next); about 4–7 cm long. The pinnae not decreasing markedly in length basipetaly, the basal pinnae not or scarcely shorter than the longest pair. The lowest pinna with the lowest 3 or 4 pinnules on either side all about equal in length. The venation of the lamina open.

The sporangia superficial; aggregated in sori. The sori sub-orbicular (about 1 mm diameter, borne in rows of 4–6 on each side of the midrib of the largest pinnules, crowded); remaining discrete at maturity; with a true indusium. The indusia reniform and attached at the indentation; entire, glandular on both the surface and the margin. Paraphyses present in the sporangia. The mature spores monolete; with a perispore.

Distribution and habitat. On base-rich substrates. In limestone crevices, grykes and scree. Very locally common in NW England, rare in Derbyshire and Wales, formerly Arran.

Vice-county records. Britain: North Somerset, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, West Lancashire, Mid-west Yorkshire, North-west Yorkshire, Durham, Westmorland, Cumberland, Clyde Isles, Kintyre.

Classification. Family Polypodiaceae (C.T.W.); Dryopteridaceae (Swale and Hassler); Dryopteridaceae (Stace). Order Dryopteridales (Swale and Hassler).

Comments. The leaves glandular on both sides.

Illustrations. • D. submontana: as Lastrea rigida, Eng. Bot. 1851 (1886). • D. submontana: Sowerby and Johnson (1859). • 9 British Dryopteridaceae (inter alia).


To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2004 onwards. British ferns (Filicopsida). Version: 4th January 2012. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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