categoryZFerns Ferns List 

HARTSTONGUE FERN

Asplenium scolopendrium

(Formerly: Phyllitis scolopendrium)
Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]  

Spores:
spores8Jan spores8Feb spores8mar spores8march spores8Aug spores8sep spores8sept spores8Oct spores8Nov spores8Dec
Fronds:
fronds8Jan fronds8Feb fronds8mar fronds8march fronds8apr fronds8april fronds8may fronds8jun fronds8june fronds8jul fronds8july fronds8Aug fronds8sep fronds8sept fronds8Oct fronds8Nov fronds8Dec

category
category8Ferns
status
statusZnative

5th June 2012, Shropshire Union Canal, from Canal Boat. Photo: © RWD
Mixed in with other taller ferns, Hartstongue Fern are the shorter sprays of slightly lighter-green un-divided (entire) leaves. Grows in damp and darkish places.


10th May 2015, Nob End, Ringley, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Young specimens un-furling, displaying their scaly rachis which is not usually visible in older much taller examples.


25th April 2015, Dibbinsdale, Bromborough, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
The scales on the rachis are white at first, turning brown.


5th Aug 2005, Padley Gorge, Grindleford, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Older specimens crinled.


10th Jan 2007, Peak Forest Canal, Strines Photo: © RWD


10th Jan 2007, Peak Forest Canal, Strines Photo: © RWD


10th May 2015, Nob End, Ringley, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The two lower lobes of the leaf curve forwards.


10th May 2015, Nob End, Ringley, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The croziers un-furling.


10th May 2015, Nob End, Ringley, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Scales on the rachis.


30th Aug 2012, Fyfe, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
The spores in autumn are in neat rows arranged in a herringbone pattern on the reverse of the leaf.


30th Aug 2012, Fyfe, Scotland. Photo: © John Brailsford
The rows are coralled by two white parallel membranes shaped line narrow canoes in which the small spherical and brown sporangia reside. The sporangia contain the spores which are minute.


27th April 2013, Blackleach Resr, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Sporangia have probably been released?


25th April 2015, Dibbinsdale, Bromborough, Wirral. Photo: © RWD
Young specimens have long white hairs both sides.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Britains only fern with tufts of strap-shaped often wavy evergreen leaves which are between 4 and 20 inches long. The spore cases are on the reverse of the leaves, in slightly curved rows. The spores ripen between August to March. It prefers to inhabit walls, rocks, woods and hedge-banks, and favours the West of Britain. Although it is almost ubiquitous throughout Britain, it is generally absent from the Scottish Highlands.

No relation to: Hound's-tongue nor Adder's-tongue [plants of similar name, but differing family].

Hybridises with :

  • Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes) to produce Asplenium × confluens which occurs in just 3 hectads, none where the photographs were taken.
  • Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum) to produce Asplenium × jacksonii which only occurs in one hectad on the northern coastline of Cornwall.
  • Lanceolate Spleenwort (Asplenium obovatum) to produce Asplenium × microdon which seems to be extinct in the UK.


  Asplenium scolopendrium  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Aspleniaceae  

Distribution
family8Spleenwort family8Aspleniaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8asplenium
Asplenium
(Spleenworts)

HARTSTONGUE FERN

Asplenium scolopendrium

(Formerly: Phyllitis scolopendrium)
Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]  

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