A gregarious, deciduous fern growing in rocky deciduous woodland and ravines, along stream banks, and on cliff ledges and stable block screes. It prefers moist but open, light-textured mineral soils with a high humus content, and tolerates a moderate range of pH. 0-915 m (Rannoch, Mid Perth).
This species, which is susceptible to heavy grazing, has declined at the edges of its British range, where it has been lost from lowland woods even though the woods themselves often survive. Most of the losses occurred before 1950. It was last recorded in Ireland in 1986.
Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.
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Light (Ellenberg): 4
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 4
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.2
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.1
Annual Precipitation (mm): 1445
Height (cm): 35
Perennation - primary
Life Form - primary
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 963
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 10
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0
Atlas Change Index: -0.21
Weighted Changed Factor: -13
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1988. The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
1978. Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1997. The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.