West Highland Flora

Narrow Buckler Fern


Dryopteris carthusiana

Earlier name: Dryopteris spinulosa

Dryopteris carthusiana

Photo Carl Farmer
26 Jun 2007 Seil Island, Argyll

Furthest L pair of pinnae c  11.7 cm direct tip to tip

Occasional, more frequent in the south of the area.  Normally in marshy ground with tall grasses and rushes.

Fronds c 30-100 cm.  Pinnae c 5-12 cm.  Sori c 0.5-1 mm.

ID: Like all the Buckler Ferns it has the lowest pinna the broadest if not the longest, with the pinnule nearest the stem on the lower side of the lowest pinna particularly well developed.  The pinnules are not concave or crimped like those of D aemula.  The scales at the base of the stalk are pale brown without the dark centres of D dilatata or D expansa. (but small upland plants of D dilatata often don't have the dark centres very well marked; look carefully for any sign of dark centres before deciding on D carthusiana, and check all other characters)  The pinnule segments have teeth with long spine-like tips.

Other features: Fronds narrower than other Buckler Ferns, as the picture shows, and generally more upright.  Fronds don't all grow from a "crown" as in D dilatata, but are scattered around within a small area as they arise from a creeping rhizome.  Fronds are pale green; those of D dilatata tend to be a darker, more bluish green.  The lower pinnae are held somewhat horizontally rather than in the plane of the frond.  Hybridises with D dilatata.

 

Photo Carl Farmer
26 Jun 2007 Seil Island, Argyll

Pinnule nearest base of pic c 3.1 cm long


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