English name: Lady-fern
Gaelic name: Crim-raineach Moire
Atlas of Ferns:
Post 1950 records: Recorded in all hectads.
British Pteridophyte Records:
The Fern Gazette Volume 12, Part 5, (1983): NG37 C. W. Murray.
Botanist in Skye: Recorded in all hectads.
1987-1999: Recorded in all other hectads.
Altitude distribution on Skye
Athyrium filix-femina occurs in hazel woods along with Pteridium aquilinum, Blechnum spicant, Oreopteris limbosperma, Dryopteris dilatata, and D. filix-mas, with occasional Polystichum aculeatum and Hymenophyllum wilsonii. In oak/birch woods D. aemula, D. affinis and Polypodium vulgare are also present. It also occurs in rush dominated heaths along with Dryopteris dilatata, D. affinis, O. limbosperma and B. spicant and at altitudes above 350m Birks (1973) recorded Asplenium viride in this community. In Rodwell (ed.) (1991a, 1992) it occurs in the W9b, W11b, U16a, and U17b communities. In Birks (1973) it occurs in the Luzula sylvatica-Silene dioica, Betula pubescens-Cirsium heterophyllum, Sedum rosea-Alchemilla glabra, Betula pubescens-Vaccinium myrtillus, Corylus avellana-Oxalis acetosella and Fraxinus excelsior-Brachypodium sylvaticum Associations, Alnus glutinosa woods and the Limestone Pavement Communities.
Charles Druery in "The Book of British Ferns" published in 1901 records that in 1864 Mr Puller found a variety of Lady-fern on Skye which was called "Pullerii" it is described as a pinnate form, with short rounded pinnules a la Frizellae but closer.
Approximately 20% of all Lady-ferns on the Island will be found to be attacked by the larvae of a fly, Acrostilpna latipennis (family Anthomyiidae). This is a widespread fly in Britain but rather uncommon and local. The larvae mine the leaves and stems of the fern, which can cause the tip of the frond to rollover.