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Ryedale Ferns and Horsetails

Spores on Male FernFerns do not have seeds like flowering plants – instead they produce spores, usually in small “heaps” which may or may not have a membrane covering them. Most ferns produce their spores in late summer or the autumn, usually on the underside of the fronds. The picture shows the kidney-shaped heaps of ripe spores of the common Male Fern, which grows in many Ryedale woods (photo: 11/9/99). Wall RueThe little Wall Rue pictured right was growing on the walls of Helmsley Castle (photo: 29/5/99).

Moonwort The curious fern (left) looks more like a flowering plant, with one pinnately lobed “leaf” below a fertile spike. It is uncommon, growing amongst grass in meadows, and barely reaching 6" tall (5/7/2000).

The Ferns and Horsetails in the tables below may be found in the Ryedale area. We do not necessarily have definite records for all of them (there is a significant quantity of historical data in the Society’s files which we are still working through).

Species lists: Ferns

English NameLatin Name
AdderstongueOphioglossum vulgatum
Beech FernPhegopteris connectilis
Black SpleenwortAsplenium adiantum-nigrum
BrackenPteridium aquilinum
Brittle Bladder FernCystopteris fragilis
Common Buckler FernDryopteris dilatata
Common PolypodyPolypodium vulgare
Common SpleenwortAsplenium trichomanes
Golden Scale FernDryopteris affinis
Great or Giant HorsetailEquisetum telmateia
Hard FernBlechnum spicant
Hard Shield FernPolystichum aculeatum
HartstonguePhyllitis scolopendrium
Hay-scented Buckler FernDryopteris aemula
Lady FernAthyrium filix-femina
Lemon-scented or Mountain FernOreopteris limbosperma
Male FernDryopteris filix-mas
MoonwortBotrychium lunaria
Oak FernGymnocarpium dryopteris
Royal FernOsmunda regalis
Rusty-backCeterach officinarum
Wall RueAsplenium ruta-muraria

Species lists: Horsetails

Common or Field Horsetail, fertile stem
English NameLatin Name
Field HorsetailEquisetum arvense
Great or Giant HorsetailEquisetum telmateia
Marsh HorsetailEquisetum palustre
Water HorsetailEquisetum fluviatile
Wood HorsetailEquisetum sylvaticum
Marsh horsetail, with ‘cone’

Photos copyright © Gill & Adrian Smith 1999, 2000

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© Ryedale Natural History Society 1999, 2000