Happy Ferny Christmas

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

References and Further Reading

  • British Pteridological Society Education & Hill, Mike (2014-19): The Private Life of Ferns.
  • British Pteridological Society & Hill, Mike (2014-19): The Fern Life Cycle.
  • 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.

Copyright Note

Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

© Karen Andrews 2018 onwards. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Andrews and BotanyKaren.net with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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