Happy Ferny Christmas

Rustyback Fern, Asplenium ceterach, growing out of a limestone wall crevice
© Karen Netto (Andrews)

The West Country’s limestone walls are great places to discover diminutive species of ferns throughout the year. They break the beginner botanist in gently to recognising the characteristics of more difficult species. They help train your eyes to notice, and see more in, something that is just green.


The rusty back of Rustyback Fern, Asplenium ceterach. © Karen Netto (Andrews)

Rustyback is quite widespread in the West and South West of England. Once you start noticing the small green plants on the wall, there is a shorter step to seeing mosses and lichen.

© Karen Netto (Andrews)

References and Further Reading

British Pteridological Society Education & Hill, Mike (2014-19): The Private Life of Ferns. Last accessed 14 December 2019.

British Pteridological Society & Hill, Mike (2014-19): The Fern Life Cycle. Last accessed 14 December 2019.

Merryweather, James (2007): The Fern Guide. A field guide to the ferns, clubhouses, quillworts and horsetails of the British Isles. Third Edition. Field Studies Council (FSC). Telford. UK.

Streeter, David et al. (2016): Collins Wild Flower Guide. The Most Complete Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland. 2nd Edition. William Collins. HarperCollins. London, UK.

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