If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

24 January, 2014

A hard fern to identify?

Actually not all ferns are difficult to identify, some are quite unique in appearance and cannot be confused with any other. The hard fern (Blechnum spicant) is one such species and is not hard to identify at all! The fronds are very thin and give a 'serrated' appearance, a bit like a double sided comb perhaps? No other Britsh fern is like this and so can be named
on sight.

It prefers acid soils and is found mainly in the east of Dorset in shady woods and hedgerows; I see it most frequently along ditches and stream sides. it apparently also occurs on rock ledges but as I don't climb rock faces I can not confirm that! 

Some of the fronds die back in winter but others stay evergreen and so you can find the hard fern easily any time you are out and about in suitable habitat.

Related Post:

Does a deer tongue really look like this?