Ferns

Ferns are a primitive group of vascular plants that don't produce flowers and reproduce with spores instead of seeds. The spores form on the underside of the fronds. One characteristic of true ferns is that the fronds emerge as coiled fiddleheads that slowly unfurl as the frond grows.

Twenty-three species of ferns are native to Iceland(*), some are very rare and  protected, others, such as Cystopteris fragilis, are common in all parts of the country.  Ferns grow best in shade or semi-shade in fertile, moist soil. They dislike windy conditions and usually grow in sheltered positions.

Asplenium
 

Asplenium is a genus of around 700 species in the family Aspleniaceae and is considered by most botanists the only genus of the family. There is great variety within the genus and species are grouped into several categories that are sometimes considered separate genera.

 

Athyrium
 

Athyrium is a genera in the family Athyriaceae. Around 100 species belong to the genus with a global distribution. Two species are native to Iceland.

 

Cystopteris
 

Cystopteris is a genus of 18 similar species in the family Athyriaceae with a global distribution. One species is native to Iceland and common in all regions of the country.

 

Dryopteris
 

Dryopteris is a genus of around 150 species in the family Dryopteridaceae with a global distribution, although most species grow in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Two species are native to Iceland.

 

Matteuccia
 

Matteuccia is a small genus in the family Onocleaceae. It only includes one species.

 

Onoclea
 

Onoclea is a genus in the family Onocleaceae that only contains one species.

 

Polypodium
 

Polypodium is a genus of 75-100 species in the family Polypodiaceae. It has a global distribution with most diversity in the tropics. Once species is native to Iceland.

 

Polystichum
 

Polystichum is a large genus of around 500 species in the family Dryopteridaceae. It has a global distribution, with most diversity in E-Asia. One species is native to Iceland.

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