Here is another of the plants first identified in the reserve by County Recorder Richard Aisbitt when he visited us this summer: broad buckler-fern, Dryopteris dilatata.
The second part of its scientific name, dilitata, means spread out or expanded because this species can be as much as 150cm across, substantially wider than it is tall.
It is a common British native, a lush dark green perennial, growing in moist woodlands, stream banks and pockets of deep leaf litter. Its dramatic curled shoots appear in April and usually die back in the autumn but in our warming climate, plants in sheltered spots can survive through the winter without resorting to dormancy.
The reserve’s woods are actually full of broad buckler-fern but it has taken an expert to identify it for us.
Header image: Broad buckler fern © Patrick Roper (CC BY-SA 2.0) geograph.org.uk