West Highland Flora

Hay-scented Buckler Fern


Dryopteris aemula

 

Dryopteris aemula

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2004 Isle of Rona, N of Raasay
c 15 cm across both basal pinnae of left-hand frond

Quite frequent in damp mossy native woodland, though absent from many woods.  Rare outside that habitat but can occur among shady rocks anywhere.

Fronds c 15-60 cm long. Pinnae c 5-15 cm.  Sori c 0.5-1 mm

ID: Frond has a triangular shape overall, with the lowest pinnae the longest, and with the basal pinnule on the lower side of the lowest pinna much longer than the pinnule opposite it on the upper side.  The scales on the lower part of the stalk are nearly uniform brown (examine several), and do not have a dark centre like those of D dilatata.  Fronds have numerous tiny glands sprinkled on under-surface.

Other features: Pinnules or their segments are concave in places giving the frond a crimped appearance.  A smaller and more broadly triangular plant than Broad Buckler Fern, which often grows with it.  The other two confusion species are D carthusiana and D expansa, both rarer than the present species and without convex pinnules or glands on the underside of the pinnae.

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Dryopteris aemula

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2004 Isle of Rona, N of Raasay
Pinnule that passes through centre of pic c 3.7 cm long

This picture shows the basal pinnae, i.e the ones lowest on the rachis, with their basal pinnules, i.e those nearest to the rachis.  The pinnule that passes through the centre of the picture is the one that points back to the base of the plant, and is much longer than the one on the opposite side of the pinna midrib.

 

Dryopteris aemula

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2004 Isle of Rona, N of Raasay

Pinnule - upper side

  Dryopteris aemula

Photo Carl Farmer
8 Jun 2004 Isle of Rona, N of Raasay

Pinnule - underside
showing white scales
on midrib


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