categoryZFerns Ferns List 

SEA SPLEENWORT

Asplenium marinum

Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]

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category8Ferns
status
statusZnative
stem
stem8oval
stem
stem8fluted

2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Grows in crevices and fissures of rocks, caves and walls near the sea and within the sea-spray zone.


2nd July 2011, a sea-cliff, Saltmills, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Grows in rocks, crevices, caves and walls which are exposed to sea-spray.


2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
A tufted plant with bright green and shiny fronds.


2nd July 2011, a sea-cliff, Saltmills, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Young fronds look similar to those of (inland) Parsley Fern.


2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Leaves both glossy and fleshy un-like those of Maidenhair Spleenwort.


2nd July 2011, a sea-cliff, Saltmills, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Another young specimen. Note spores on the lowest frond which is over-turned.


8th Oct 2011, Nook Harbour, Campile, Co. Wexford, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
An older plant, leaflets longer and more ellipsoidal. Leaflets almost opposite, but sometimes more alternate.


1st Oct 2011, a sea-cliff, Saltmills, Wexford, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Leaflets have the appearance of being opposite, but they grow ± alternate.


8th Oct 2011, Nook Harbour, Campile, Co. Wexford, Eire. Photo: © Paula O'Meara
Showing the ridges (or are they grooves) in the otherwise flattish stems. Leaflets rather leathery, and over-wintering.


2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Upper surface (left) and underside (right).


2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Un-ripe sori.


2nd Aug 2013, Hilbre Island, Wirral, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Close-up of spores of young plant, which are almost always ripe (except between mid-July to mid-August). They grow in canoe-shaped outward facing rows in lines between or half-under two folds of semi-transparent membranous tissue.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Needs to grow in a location where it can get splashed by sea-spray, but certainly not ever in the sea. Thus sea-cliffs and walls near the sea are a favourite. The only exception to this need to be splashed by sea spray occurs in SW Ireland.

Sea Spleenwort, like Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium capillus-veneris) and Green Spleenwort (Asplenium viride), is singly pinnate, but these other two have shorter leaves and look quite different. Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum) and Irish Spleenwort (Asplenium onopteris) are more fern-like being 2-pinnate.

Sea Spleenwort is tufted with rather tough and leathery leaves which last throughout the year and over winter. The fronds are a bright green and 15-20cm long, the mid-rib green


  Asplenium marinum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Aspleniaceae  

Distribution
 family8Spleenwort family8Aspleniaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Asplenium
Asplenium
(Spleenworts)

SEA SPLEENWORT

Asplenium marinum

Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]

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