Dryopteris aemula

Tracheophyta PteropsidaDryopteridaceaeDryopterisDryopteris aemula


A fern of moist but well-drained acidic to neutral soils of low base content, growing on banks, sea-cliffs and wooded slopes. In the Weald (Sussex) it occurs in deep, steep-sided wooded ravines which emulate its Atlantic habitats. Generally lowland, but reaching 640 m in Macgillycuddy`s Reeks (S. Kerry).



World Distribution

Oceanic Temperate element; confined to the hyperoceanic zone in W. Europe and Macaronesia.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1373

Life form information

Height (cm): 60

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 436

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 383

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.04

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (12d)
Jalas & Suominen (1972)
Bangerter EB, Cannon JFM, Jermy AC
1978.  Ferns and their allies. The Island of Mull: a survey of its flora and environment. :12.1-12.7.
Page CN
1997.  The ferns of Britain and Ireland, edn 2.