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Registered Charity No. 1092399 

Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales 

Officers and Committee from March 2003 

President: Prof. A.C. Wardlaw, 92 Drymen Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2SY 


Vice-Presidents: AR. Busby, M.H. Rickard, Prof. B.A. Thomas, Dr T.G. Walker 

Honorary General Secretary: Miss J.M. Ide, 42 Crown Woods Way, Eltham, London SE9 2NN 

Tel./Fax: 020 8850 3218; E-mail: 

Treasurer: A. Leonard, 1 1 Victory Road, Portsmouth, Hants. POl 3DR 


Membership Secretary: M.S. Porter, 5 West Avenue, Wigton, Cumbria CA7 9LG 

Tel.: 016973 43086; E-mail: 

Meetings Secretary: P.J. Acock, 13 Star Lane, St Mary Cray, Kent BR5 3LJ 


Conservation Officer/Recorder: R.J. Cooke, 15 Conduit Road, Stamford, Lines. PE9 1QQ 


Editor of the Bulletin: Miss A.M. Paul, Department of Botany, The Natural History Museum, 

Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD; E-mail: 

Editor of The Fern Gazette: Dr M. Gibby, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 20 A Inverleith Row, 

Edinburgh EH3 5LR; E-mail: 

Editor ofPteridologist: Dr J.W. Merryweather, Home Farm, Attadale. Strathcarroo, 

Wester Ross IV54 8YX; E-mail: 

Editor ofBPS WWW Site - A.C. Pigott, Kersey's Farm, Mendlesham, 

Stowmarket, Suffolk IP 14 5RB; E-mail: Webmasters uk 

Elected Committee Members: S.E. Czeladzinski, Dr A.F. Dyer, Dr Y.C. Golding, M.L. Grant. 

Ms E. Knox-Thomas, S.J. Munyard, P.H. Ripley, R.W. Sykes 

Booksales Organiser: S.J. Munyard, 234 Harold Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 5NG 


Information Officer A.R. Busby, 16 Kirby Corner Road, Canley, Coventry CV4 8GD 

& Archivist: E-mail: / 

Merchandise Organisers: Mr B.D. & Mrs G. Smith, Rookwood, 1 Prospect Road, Lowestoft, 

Suffolk NR32 3PT; E-mail: 

Plant Exchange Organiser: R.G. Ackers, Deersbrook, Horsham Road, Walliswood, Surrey 

RH5 5RL; E-mail: 

Spore Exchange Organisers. Mr B. & Mrs A. Wright, 1 30 Prince Rupert Dr . 

York Y026 7PU; E-mail: 
Trustees of Greenfield & Centenary Funds: Prof. A.C. Wardlaw, Miss J.M. Ide, A. Leonard 


THE *%;, % ^ 


BULLETIN G ^°fy ' 

OF THE ^/fr 

Vol. 6 2003 No. 2 



Blarney to Glengarriff, Co. Cork (Saturday) Bryan Smith 

Blarney Castle carpark at midday on Saturday 24th May saw a large party of BPS members 
gather for the start of the south-west Ireland meeting. This proved to be a good place to 
meet since it gave some of us a chance to kiss the Blarney stone - a hazardous undertaking 
whichever way you look at it (be it dangling on your back, head first out of the castle 
parapet or kissing a slimy germ-infested rock!). Still, there was some Asplenium ruta- 
muraria and other calcicoles on the castle walls, and Polypodium cambricum was growing 
on the walls of the car park and elsewhere on walls around Blarney as well as P. vulgare 
and P. interjectum. But greater things were to come that week during what turned out to be 
a classic BPS trip - good ferns, good company and good food and drink. 
From Blarney, we convoyed a short distance to Garrycloyne and were joined by some late 
arrivals for our search for Asplenium onopteris. We weren't disappointed and a roadside 
bank quickly gave us this species, A. adiantum-nigrum and the hybrid A. x ticinens^. W ithin 
about 50 yards we also saw A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, A. scolopendrium, 
i podium interjectum, Polystichum setiferum and the 
inevitable Pteridium aquilinum. We'd parked in the entrance to St Mary's cemetery 
(10/6079), and a short detour to the church also gave us Blechnum spicant and L 
affinis subspp. affinis and borreri on the sides of the ti 
walls within the churchyard we then found Aspleni 
quadrivalens, A. scolopendrium and A. ceterach. 

Not content with 15 species thus far, we headed to a pond in Clogheenmilcon Sanctuary (10/6175) 
to see a lovely patch of red Azolla filiculoides with individual plants standing remarkably proud 
of the water, and Equisetum arvense on the side of the path leading to the pond. 
Glengarriff, some fifty miles away in West Cork, was to be our base for the next two nights, 

to our list Ath\ •nteris x cc 

Osmunda regalis in an adjacent field. 

t for some typically Irish fare. 
Lough Hyne and Glengarriff Woods, Co. Cork (Sunday) Alison Paul 

We assembled on the front in Glengarriff and, now joined by Paul Ripley and Pat Acock, 
set off to drive in convoy via Bantry and Skibbereen to Lough Hyne (10/0928) on the south 
coast of Co. Cork. Lough Hyne is important as a Marine Nature Reserve, with limestone 
underlying the sea water. Its amazing diversity of life (over one thousand species of 

Y ofhabil 

boulders, gravel and mud slopes, differences in exposure to the waves and a range of tidal 
currents. Peering into the clear water in between bouts of fern hunting, sea anemones and 
purple sea urchins were among the abundant sea-life visible. 

Walking along the north side of the Lough, we passed stands of bracken and Polystichtm 
setiferum at the roadside, and clumps of Dryopteris affmis. We were puzzled already - was 
ii subsp affinis or subsp. cambrensis, or neither of these? Ati 

adiantum-nigrum, plu: 

e of which was convincing P. i 
terisfilix-mas, D. dilatai 
subsp. quadrivalens and A. < 
The main reason for our visit to Lough Hyne was to see Asplenium onopteris, which used to 
be relatively common on roadside banks nearby. Unfortunately, the road appeared to have 
been widened and bramble growth had increased. We did, however, add Blechnum spicant, 
Dryopteris aemula and D. affinis subsp. borreri to our list, and there were beautiful croziers 
of subsp. affmis. Lathyrus vernus (spring pea) and a pink form of Anthyllis vulneraria 
(kidney vetch) added colourful interest to the site. 

Roadside exploration in the opposite direction revealed more Blechnum and Dryopteris 
aemula, as well as an interesting Asplenium. It was not convincing as A. onopteris, but on 
the other hand it didn't match the A. adiantum-nigrum we had seen hitherto. Ken Trewren's 
study of spores/chromosome count later revealed that it was indeed A. onopteris. 
Some of us picnicked beside the Lough, making the r 
long drive back to Glengarriff. En route we admir 
roadsides and field boundaries. 
One of the most noteworthy features of Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve was the midges; 
application of insect repellent was imperative. The area is well known for its saxifrages, 
including Saxifraga spathidaris (St Patrick's cabbage), but we were more interested in the 
filmy ferns growing on the same rocks. At one site (00/919568), where Hymenophyllum 
tunbrigense was abundant and H. wilsonii was also present, Ken found putative hybrid 
1 habit of//, wilsonii but with toothed indusial valves. These are 
the subject of o 

oak, with a lot of holly. DryopU, a „ c 

borreri, D. dilatata, D. fdix-mas, Athyrium fdix-femina, Pteridium aquu 

spicant were all noted. A possible hybrid between Dryopteris dilatata 

found by Ken. Later examination of sporangia revealed many aooruve ***** — 

untortunately a chromosome count was not achieved; another sample is needed! Polypodium 

Merjectum was common, both on rocks and as an epiphyte. Osmunda regalis grew near the 

bridge over the river. A few more colonies of Hymenophyllum wilsonii were found on rocks by 

e river, in some cases with H. tunbrigense growing above it. Asplenium trichomanes subsp. 
quadrivalens on the walls leading to a bridge near the car park completed our findings here. 
A f!I din ^f ln Glen 8 arriff we decided to hunt for Blechnum cordatum, which A Catalogue 
o} Alien Plants in Ireland (2002) cites as naturalised in the area in 1952-3 and 1977. The 

.cordatum ehded us, but the wonderfully ferny lane (north from 00/946567) was home to 
amyrium Jilvc-femina, Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris a/funs. Pteridium iquilhnim, 
juisetum arvense, Dryopteris dilatata, D. aemula, D fdix-mas a large Osmunda regalis, 
plTJT SC ° l J endrium > *■ trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, 
Polystichum setiferum and Polvz " 

Healy Pass and Derreen Garden, Co. Kerry (Monday) 

As our leader's car exhaust was damaged, we left him seeking a re 
our way towards our second billet via the Healy Pass in the (alia 
summit into Co. Kerry, we paused in a small lay-by (00/789545) 
gentle slope where Michael Troy had been told marsh clubmoss 
had been found. It was fortunate that most of us had donned our 
rain was driving down the slope. We did add Oreopteris limbos 

unsuccessful in our hunt for the clubmoss. 

Derreen Garden, Co. Kerry 

Michael Troy, Ken Trewren, Christine Muffins, Sam Thomas, Alison Paul, Paul Ripley, Gill Smith, 
Pat Acock, Bryan Smith, Bridget Laue, Steve & Karen Munyard, Alan Ogden 

We arrived at Derreen Garden just north of Lauragh (00/7758) around lunch-time and 
decided to dry off while sampling the tea and cakes. We were then taken around the garden 
by our host for the afternoon, the head gardener Jacky Ward. Jacky explained that his father 
had held the position before him and so the family had taken care of the garden for some 
considerable time. The sub-tropical, coastal garden has many rarities but it was for the filmy 
ferns and tree-ferns that we had come. We were not to be disappointed because the Dicksonia 
antarctica had been there for more than a century (since the 1860s) and the wooded valley 
was reminiscent of New Zealand with tree-ferns of all ages, including sporelings carpeting 
the ground. Up many of the trunks and over boulders were carpets of Hymenophyllum 
tunbrigense and occasionally H. wilsonii. There were other tree-ferns including Dicksonia 
squarrosa, Cyathea dealbata and C. medullaris but these had been planted more recently. 
Our host was very patient, never once complaining about our slow progress. 
After another round of cake we made our way to the bottom end of Tore Waterfall 
(00/965847), south of Killarney. Our car arrived quite late and the rest of the group had 
already found most of the ferns we had come to see, though by looking through binoculars 
we did add Trichomams speciosum, high up in an inaccessible place. The gametophyte was 

our various lodgings and later met up for dinner at 'White Sands', the 
house where most of the party were staying and which was to become our unofficial HQ for 
the next five days. Here we enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by Karen Munyard and Gill 
Smith and chatted in splendid comfort until quite late. 

O'Sullivan's Cascade, Killarney (Tuesday) Alan Ogden 

The party assembled at a road junction near Killarney at 10.00a.m. to drive a short distance 
to the beginning of a walk along a track to O'Sullivan's Cascade on the north-west side of 
Lough Leane. We parked our cars by a farm track and stream (00/896902) where there was 
already a lush assemblage of ferns: Osmunda regalis, Dryopteris aemula, D. dilatata, 
bspp. qffinis and barren, Athyrium filix-femina, Blechnum spicant, 
foiypodium mterjectum and the ubiquitous Pteridium aquilimtm. Equisetum telmateia had 
also been spotted by the roadside. We continued to see specimens of most of these ferns as 
we walked about 2.5 miles to the cascade (00/915884). 

The track passed through an area where large moss-clad boulders covered the ground 
beneath large holly trees, making a surreal scene. Many of the boulders were also covered 
ma s ol filmy fern, mainly Hymenophyllum tunbrigeme though we did find smaller 
?ZT!f * ° f "' wilsonil There wer e remains of a row of buildings made of rocks and 
swathed in moss, too decayed to guess at their purpose. It was hard to imagine people 
fo.mH 8 a 7 1 ? 8 /" * 1S W£t ' r ° cky place - Ga metophytes of Trichomanes speciosum were 

in a dark dripping cavity, raising hopes of finding the sporophyte by the cascade. 
Walking down a very long flight of giant steps we came to the shore of the lough where the 
boulders formed a suitable place for us to have lunch. Some people can't sit still for long 
arotfnTi T u Und quU,S ° f Isoetes floatl "8 near the shore and Equisetum arvense 
PoIvnn% , gle " S ° me of the moss y Mulders supported small colonies of 

^tnuTLT Md 3 SinglC Plant ^Osmunda regalis was seen. There was evidence of 
recent activity of large deer in the woods. 

febra n l. the Ca t Cade W3S exp,ored enthusiastically, indeed, Steve took a tumble into a 
patch from which he was painfully extracted. Sadly, the Killarney fern was 

not found although the gametophytes were identified once more. Ken Trewren being an 
expert in this arcane art. A polypody on an oak tree was thought to be P. cambricum and 
this was subsequently verified. 

Some of us wearily headed for home via Kate Kearney's Cottage, a hostelry supplying tea and 
scones, whilst the more hardy fem hunters went on to try and find pillwort. Again no success, 
as they failed to penetrate the conifer plantations and Rhododendron thickets to get down to 
the lake, though they did find greater butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), New /calami 
willowherb (Epilobium pedunculare var. bnmnescens) and sundew (Drosera rotundifo/ia). 
We were again invited back to White Sands for a delicious supper cooked by Gill and 
Karen and afterwards a special treat - a visit to the lakeside to see the Natterjack toads. 
which were croaking love songs by the lakeside among the Equisetumjluviati/e. 
Ross Island and Tore Waterfall (Wednesday) Sam Thomas & Alan Ogden 

Ross Island in Killarney National Park was our first destination. Leaving the cars in the 
visitors' car park (00/950888) we walked to the castle, seeing plains of Asplenium 
scolopendrium. A. ruta-muraria. A. irichomanes subsp. quadrivalent and Polvpodium 
cambricum on the walls. We then walked through delightful woodland towards Library 
Point on the opposite side of the lough to where we had been the previous day. 

D. dilatata, Athyr 

soon recorded Pi '■vopteris affinis subspp. affmis and borreri, l> filix-mas, 

Polystichum setiferum and more Asplenium scolopendrium. Ken thought he found 

D. x complexa, but a subsequent chromosome count put it in the borreri group (triploid). A 
ruined cottage revealed no new ferns, though it was roofed by a large tree in an extraordinary 
balancing act. We passed luxuriant specimens oiOsmunda regalis (called Emperor fem by the 
Irish), Polypodium vulgare, Blechnum spicant, Equisetum arvense, E.fluviatile and 

E. x litorale before coming to the object of our walk: Thelypteris palustris. This was growing 
in a boggy area with Osmunda regalis. Polypodium mterjectum was seen growing on many 
horizontal mossy branches. Other plants were noted, including a number of species of orchids: 
early purple, common spotted, common twayblade, bird's-nest orchids and a helleborine. 

We returned to Ross Castle for lunch before setting off for the Old Kenmare Road above 
Tore Waterfall in search of th litis previously recorded there. From the 

car en route, Asplenium ceterach was seen growing on roadside walls. The cars were left at 
a large car park at the head of the waterfall (00/967841) and we set off along the Old 
Kenmare Road. The rocks on either side of the track were covered in vast quantities of 
filmy ferns, most mbrigense and the usual woodland ferns were seen. 

An addition to our finds for the day was Asplenium adiantum-nigntm. We found a number 
of plants of Polystichum aculeatum by dripping rocks exactly as described in the old record 

of lesser twa? 
by Christine 

Killamey fern and located 

Karen Munyard, Gill & Bryan Smitl 

i Bridget Laue at Tore 

the i 

the ncre 

ase. Wit! 

i great 

daring mc 

>st of us made the 


of the 






to see tl 

ic fern 


on the c 

side from 

the path. 

by Upper Lake (00/919821), 

1 A. x ticinen 

\se. Bryar 

i found 

wnere Alison had previously found Asplenium o, 
both growing on a rock-face behind brambles. 
This completed the day's ferning and we headed back to our a 
later for a splendid meal at The Fishery Restaurant in Killorglin. 
Dingle Peninsula (Thursday) Paul Ripley 

Shortly after leaving our base we stopped at Killorglin Bridge. A very nicely crenate 
tench, A. ruta-muraria, A. scolopendrium, A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens 
«"■ ™lgare agg. were growing on the walls. We also admired the statue of 
£mg Fuck. A three day fair is held at Killorglin every year and at 'the gathering' a goat is 
brought down from the mountains and crowned King Puck until 'the dispersal' on the last 

we stopped for an hour in the attractive town of Dingle, near the base of the peninsula of 
Jl/, °° kshops in the tow n were disappointing but we did see Polypodium 

«**'«" on the walls The ^ ^^ y ^ .^ for we „ plants 

Iltf T miCa (01/420003 ) but we also m turn, Athyrium 

aquW^ yStlchum set 'ferum, Dryoptehs qffinis, D. filix-mas and Pteridium 
mum, as well as a crisped form of Asplenium scolopendrium. 

mTelf"? UnkS u the S ° Uth and north of D »^ P^^ula and we stopped near the summit 

(oiS«\T t0 have lunch - Isoetes lacustris s rows in the clear waters of the lake 

tut/504059), but we also found Asplenium ceterach A trichomanes Polypodium vulgare, 

P. interjectum, Dryopteris aemula, D. qffinis subsp. affinis. /> dilatata. Athyrium tilix- 

femina, Blechnum spicant and Huperzia selago, in addition to the two filmies 

Hymenophyllum tunbrigense and H. wilsonii. 

Our next stop was Brandon Point (01/527173), magnificent cliffs where choughs and other 

sea birds wheeled away below us. We saw Asplenium mariman here, as well as stunted 

Dryopteris dilatata, D. aemula, and Athyrium t'ili\-h mina growing in the short cliff grass. 

Polypodium vulgare grew in the dry-stone walls. 

After mending a puncture caused by a slightly too close encounter of the stone wall kind we 

joined the rest of the group to explore a lane three miles further south (01 520127). The 

roadside verges were fascinating; almost any one could ha\e been explored m depth Athyrium 

different forms of subsp. qffinis. one of which had "cut-off and \er> congested pinnae. \er> 

at the base and might have been var. kerryensis. It is worth noting that during the week several 
forms of D. affinis were seen that did not appear to 111 am of the hitherto described entities 
Stephen had given us yet another excellent day in this botanically rich and varied country. 
Valentia (Valencia) Island (Friday) Bridget Laue 

The party met five miles west of Killorglin, travelling on the Ring of Kerry road to the 
Valentia Island ferry to Knight's Town. We were fortunate to have a display of gannets and 
cormorants diving for fish alongside the ferry during the crossing. Once on Valentia Island 
we drove the short distance to Glanleam sub-tropical gardens (00/404773). 
The gardens, which have Dingle Bay running along their north-east edge, were planted in 
Victorian times and have a wonderful selection of Southern Hemisphere plants including 
many fern species. The garden is quite overgrown in places and gives a wonderful 
impression of being out in the wild. The following list gives the species we found but there 
were probably others hidden from view. Native species were Polystichum setiferum, 
P. aculeatum. Dryopteris dilatata, D. affinis, D. aemula, Blechnum spicant. Athyrium //7a- 
femina, Asplenium scolopendrium, A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, Polypodium 
interjectum and Equisetum arvense. Foreign species were Blechnum chilense, B. nudum, 
Polystichum munition, P. polyblepharum, Paesia scaberula, Todea barbara, Selaginella 
kraussiana, Phymatosorus diycrsifolius. Matteuccia sirnthiopteris, and a fine stand of 
Woodwardia radicans spreading well by bulbils. Tree-ferns were represented by Dicksonia 
antarctica, D. squarrosa, Cyathea brown 

looked at a derelict part of the garden where bamboos and tree-f 
Dnies of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense were seen. Interestingly, there \ 
Woodwardia radicans and Poly^tu hum polyblepharum. 

I travelled to the nursery at Kells House on the south side of Dingle Bay. The 
' the house are private but the owner allowed us to view more magnificent 
. planted in Victorian times. A number of interesting ferns and flowering plants 
were purchased before heading back to the accommodation. 

Many thanks are due to Steve for a superbly organised and most enjoyable meeting during 
which we saw a great variety of pteridophytes in a range of wild habitats and amazing 
gardens. Thanks too to Karen and Gill for admirably demonstrating their catering skills! 

MACHYNLLETH, MID-WALES - 21-23 June Martin Rickard 

Around 25 members gathered in Machynlleth on the Friday night in an area somewhat 
overlooked by our Society excursions in the past. Devil's Bridge to the south and more 
particularly Snowdonia to the north have often been visited but this area seems to have 
been passed over. Our past President, Barry Thomas, lives locally and he agreed to put 
matters right by leading this meeting - as it turned out one of the most rewarding I have 
ever attended. 

I lowland lanes in the Eglwysfach and Furnace 
, but Polypodium vulgare, P. interjection and 
discussed at length, as were the 
weekend's first plants of the Dryopteris affmis group. We recorded D. affinis subspp. 
cambrensis, /><• the hybrid D. x complexa. Other ferns seen included 

D. dilatata, Athyrium filix-femina, Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens and 
Blechnum spicant overall 15 different taxa. Mid-morning, Barry and Lynda Thomas 
gave us very welcome coffee in their garden where many good ferns were seen, with the 
Wghlighl tor me being Asplenium scolopendrium 'Crispum speciosum', originating from 
the garden of another past President, Henry Schollick. 

Matt Stribley, Barry Colville, Martin Rickard, Joy Neal 

Suitably refreshed we set off into Cwm Einion (22/6994) in the foothills of Plynlimon, 
ess an a mile from our morning walk. Here we recorded many additional species, 
most notably Dryopteris aemula, Oreopteris limbosperma, Hymenophyllum tunbrigense 
oy a waterfall and in more open woodland //. wdsonii, Phegopteris connect^ 
Blechnum spicant and some additional types of D affmis, i.e. subsp. affmis var. 
paleaceolobata, pl us a very dark-scaled form of subsn. affinis. and subsp. borreri 

lorphotype insolens\ Thei 

! for lunch, having already recorded 23 different 

After lunch we visited the seaside, or r 

good collection of equisetums here, inc 

and difficult to spot at first, but then s^ 

stands of Ophioglossum vulgatum. O. azoricum is 

is not known here nor could we find it. PolypoJit, 

ked some of the p 

Joy & Stewart NeaPs house, near Eghvysfach, Machynlleth 

Barry Thomas, Alison Paul, Christine Mullins, Pat Acock, Jennifer Walls, Ann Colville, Robin Walls, 

Sam Thomas, Martin Rickard, Graham Ackers, Bruce Brown, Sandy Strang, Joy & Stewart Neal, 

Matt Stribley, Barbara Porter, Gill Smith, Barry Colville, Bryan Smith, Jonathan Crowe, 

Robert Sykes, Ken Trewren 

ravine. Many interesting ferns grow her.' sting culm ais of PofystU hum 

setifentm. The star of her fern walk is, however, an uninvited guest - none other than a 
small patch of the gametophyte of Trichomanes speciosuml Elsewhere in the garden ferns 
are less numerous but it is a wonderful garden, a real tribute to Joy and Stewart. 
Saturday closed with a very enjoyable session of short slide-shows after dinner. Not a bad 
day - two good gardens, a cream tea and 32 different taxa of ferns and fern allies seen 
growing in the wild. 

1 off 

: hill> 

at the old lead and copper mines east 
of Tal-y-Bont near Esgair Hir and 
Esgair Fraith at about 1,500 feet 
above sea level (22/7291 to 7391). 

Cardigan by J.H 


was anything but promising - not a 
single fern in sight, not even 

Recorder for the Botanical Society 
of the British Isles and knows the 
area very well; I hoped he could 
prove the older botanists wrong. In 
fact, we soon realised we were in for 

Guided by Arthur we saw a 
1 pteridophyte taxa 
here. By some old mine buildings 
were Ophioglossum vulgatum, 
Botrychium lunaria and Dryopteris 
oreades, while on old walls and 
shafts we added Asplenium 
scolopendrium and A. viride the 
latter apparently found nowhere else Arthu 
in Cardiganshire. By the side of a 
stream on disturbed ground was a 
wonderful patch of Equisetum x dycei - a poignant record for those of us who still have 
many memories of happy times in the field with the late Jimmy Dyce. In a boggy copse was 
uryoptem carthusmna and D. dilatata, possibly with the hybrid D, x deweveri and nearby 
on spoil heaps were Lycopodium clavatum, Huperzia selago and Diphasiastrum alpinum. 
W y 'J n 3 SmaU qUaiTy nCarby Were two P lants of Cryptogramma crispa - another rare 
he m ne T\ ^ ^ *"" the 8reat ^^ in the Ptendophytes here is apparently 
hmeTn i 7 ° entUrieS diffCrent S0il ^ have been ex P osed > includin 8 suff,dent 
ime in places tor strongly calcicolous species. 

After a picnic lunch we moved off to a nearby wheel pit where we saw Polystichum 

^:^ 2 m:z m 73^ hyb , nd p x ***"* then ° n to the nearby iake ' Llyn 

frajlis W na HH. a I! 1 S ° me ° f US Via more aba ndoned buildings to see Cystopteris 
somewW i u, ° Und Isoetes lacustris and P^bably /. echinospora, as well as the 
hTsma T ^ ^ ***** ™ d ^^L At this point the party broke up. In 
34 receded. y inh ° Spitable area we " ad beaten the Saturday tally of taxa seen, with 

Barrv^Art? 1 ^ the .^ veekend was 51 different ferns and fern allies. Many thanks to 
Neak and tS f 8 ^ * Barbara Porter for kee P in S track of what wc saW ' * ** 

superb meeting the ' r hospitalit y> and fi na"y to Pat Acock for organising such a 


Introduction Pat Acock 

Sue and Harry Olsen first suggested the idea of this trip to Martin Rickard in the 1980s. It 
was somehow put off in the busy scheduling of the Society until Sue and Harry were 
visiting the UK in 1999. Matt Busby wanted an illustrated talk to go with the annual fern 
show at Warwick and Sue and Harry agreed to travel down the M6 from The Lake District 
and they gave a memorable lecture on 'The Best of the West'. This, and Alan Ogden's 
frequent illustrated talks on the New World, whetted appetites for such a meeting. 
It was sad that at the earliest process of planning Harry should have been so tragically taken 
from us. It was with our very grateful thanks that Sue agreed to continue the planning and it 
is a testimony to her great courage and fortitude that we could embark on such a unique and 
excellently planned foray. 

Miller Botanical Garden, Seattle (Tuesday) Pat Acock 

Many of us met over breakfast and planned various ways to spend the morning before 
meeting together at 1pm. At this time we informally met with our host, Sue Olsen, and a 
number of her Hardy Fern Foundation colleagues who were to lead the various elements of 
The Tour. We were handed an enormous file assembled by Michelle Bundy, full of useful 
information and details so that we could prepare ourselves for each day. 
At 3.30 we left in a range of 'people carriers' for The Miller Botanical Garden. Sue had 
done well to secure this trip for the party as the garden limits the total number of visitors 
each year. Richie Steffen, who oversees the garden and library, gave us a brief history of 
how Elisabeth Miller set up this garden just north of the Seattle City Limits on a bluff above 
Puget Sound. She cleared some of the native conifers and gradually established collections 
of hollies, ericaceous plants and ferns. Self-taught, she started to experiment with new 
plants, displaying them and eventually sharing information with others. This has been the 
focus of the garden ever since she died and left it to be run by a charitable trust. I was 
especially interested in the large Metasequoia glyptostroboides, which was one of the first 
planted in the west. Ferns included many hardy species and a number of British cultivars; 
one of my favourites was a large D/yopteris x complexa. 

In the evening we dined at the water's edge in Ivar's Salmon House on the local speciality, 
smoked salmon. Here we were officially welcomed and were able to really get to know 
each other in a relaxing situation. Following dinner, Bors Vesterby gave us a lecture on an 
exciting project he is developing on a digital photographic key to the native ferns of the USA. 
Field Trip to Perry Creek (Wednesday) Graham Ackers 

Our destination required a journey of over 45 miles north-east of Seattle into the Cascade 
Mountains. Perry Creek is a steep-sided valley of Andesite rock dominated by conifers - 
mainly western red cedar {Thuja plicata) and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). The 
trail was a steadily increasing climb high above the creek, initially through quite dense 
forest, then passing through more open areas and screes, which were better for ferns. We 
eventually arrived at a waterfall two miles along the trail. 

A large stand of Blechnum spicant adorned the forested trail at the start of our walk, but 
quickly diminished to become rare along the rest of the trail. The dominant fern along most 
of the trail was Athyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum, which tended to be morphologically 
variable, in some instances having lush fronds of five feet or more. Other common ferns all 
the way were the ubiquitous Polystichum munitum, and Adiantum aleuticum, a beautiful 
fern for me to see in its natural habitat for the first time after many years of growing it. 
Slightly less common, but frequent along the trail, were Pteridium aquilinum var. 
pubescens, Cystopteris fragilis, Gymnocarpium disjunctum, looking to the untrained eye 
just like G. dryopteris, and Polystichum andersonii, a beautiful fern with larger fronds than 


I can grow! Other ferns were either rare or restricted to particular habitats. The liquorice 
fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) was frequent on both rock and trees. Somewhat rarer and 

t cted to rock were small stands of Polypodium amorphum. 
Gigantic ancient rock-falls had created several screes of moss-covered boulders, which were 
the habitat of Oyptogramma acrostichoides and Asplenium trichomanes. Other 1< s common 
trailside ferns were Dryopteris expansa (identification taken on faith by me), D.fil 
sori seeming more marginal than in the British taxon, P, . ays a beautiful 

fern, Huperzia chinensis, Lycopodium clavatum (only seen in the car park!), Botrychium 
I vhginianum (very handsome), Selaginella wallacei and Phegopteris connectilis. 
Although not central to our purpose, it was a delight to see also many flowering plants, 
most notably Angelica genuflexa, the very beautiful Aquilegia formosa, Campanula 
atum, Lilium columbianum, Sambucus 
racemosa, Smilacina racemosa, S. stellata and Trillium ovatum - in seed. 
Perry Creek is in the Mount Baker Snoqualine National Forest and has been designated a 
Research Natural Area, roughly equivalent to our Site of Special Scientific Interest - not hard 
aunt of its botanical diversity. It is also very beautiful, affording splendid 
; along the trail, with views back to the Big Four Mountain on the far side 
of the Stillaguamish River valley into which Perry Creek drains. And the waterfall at the far 
end of our walk was rather spectacular, if hard work to reach, even if only a two-mile hike! 
This was an excellent introduction to the wilderness habitats of the Northwest - thanks to Bors 
Vesterby and Richie Steffen for so efficiently and expertly leading a most enjoyable foray. 
Private Gardens in Seattle and Bellevue (Thursday) Margaret Scott 

This day was a delightful treat. The weather, the gardens, and the hospitality that each of the 
hosts and hostesses showed us was super. Each of the four gardens visited had its own grand 
entrance to a wonderful collection of lush and in many cases huge specimens of many beautiful 
plants. I was quite taken by the six-foot high tree-ferns as well as the beautiful landscaping. 
The entrance to Sylvia Duryee's Seattle garden was a grand English holly hedge, at least 12 
feet high with a 15-foot arch over a lovely garden gate. A curved stone and brick walk took us 
around the garden in front of her house where she introduced us to a number of her special 
plants. The AthyriumjUix-femwa 'Bornholmiense' attracted our attention, as did the Blechmm 
cordatum and B. spicant. These gardens had been artistically designed to show a combination 
of shrubs, trees, flowers, ferns and ground cover plants. Her Dicksonia fibrosa, as well as her 
Dryopteris dilatata 'Jimmy Dyce', particularly captured our attention. The collection was set 
ori with a grand collection of driftwood that she and her husband had collected on their many 
trips to the bay and up the pacific coast. A shaded patio garden was bordered with ferns and 
peonies, and a nicely sculptured pine overlooked her grand garden. In the back was a wonderful 
large potting shed housing her huge collection of driftwood as well as her materials for planting. 
Sue Olsen greeted and welcomed us to her hillside garden in Bellevue. Sue and her husband 
started the gardens in 1961. The plants along the hilly front drive included Dryopteris 
championn, Athyrium otophorum, dwarf Dryopteris erythrosora and a fern-leaf Japanese 
maple, as well as a variety of other ferns, hostas, azaleas and Japanese maples. At the entrance 
o tne house the garden featured a beautiful collection of ferns including Dryopteris 
T Tit P ° lypodium sc ™ 1 ™- Many planters and pots were effectively used, especially 
around the carport and back patio areas. Noteworthy is Sue's ability to grow Botrychium 
Zf . m 3 gC Planter As She said ' ever y inc » of ground has a purpose. At the back of 
arport was a lath-house - fern house (with a glass window complete with a fern etching) 
wWrh V! 1 ? 8 fCTnS 1,Ve " We followed a muI **ed path through the fern and rock garden, 
coast Za 1 S0I ^. beautlful Himalayan maidenhair fern, | \diantum , - nustum) and an east 
a fern display. On various . parser 

.trgc ferns, Chamaecyparis and flowers inchidiiiu Impauciis. hnopes. hostas. 
azaleas, fuchsias, and purple-leaved Oxalis. At the far end was a patio table with a vase of red 
zinnias. Along the side of the property a fence set off the Japanese maples, ferns and 1 
The upper level included a s 
aleuticum) draped down bel 

was a cascading waterfall accents. Very 1; 

male fern, a tree-fern and Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata' particular 
thank Lan Bradner for designing our wonderful T-shirts, for the colour prints of her garden, 
recipe and treats. 
The fourth garden of the day was Pat and Marilyn Kennar's, also in Bellevue, where we 

fountain and an assortment of ferns and hostas. Many of the Japanese maples as well as 
other plants were in ceramic pots. Garden features included birdhouses, a birdcage, frogs 
and other whimsical additions. The Woodwardia in the inner garden attracted particular 
attention. The back of the house sported a large deck overlooking the large garden. Pat's 
wood featured large conifers as the base for his woodland garden. His spectacular plants 
included huge ferns and hostas, particularly Dryopteris and polystichums of many varieties. 
Marilyn's perennial border, featuring lilies, phlox and daisies, created a nice balance of 
texture and colour. The plant collection sports over 100 Japanese maple cultivars, 150-200 
varieties of hardy ferns and 100 hosta varieties. 

Ridge Farm, Kenmore & Henry's Plant Farm, Snohomish (Friday) Rose Marie Schieber 
Ilga Jansons met us at the foot of her steep driveway and, walking backwards up the hill, she 
introduced us to the elegant hillside garden and home in Kenmore that she shares with her 
husband, Michael Dryfoos. In just seven years they had literally established a woodland paradise 
with an Indonesian motif. The garden includes a network of wooded trails and stone paths on 
challenging topography. One came upon a tree-house used for meditation, moon watching and 
sleeping, water features, garden whimsy from Thailand and Indonesia, statuary, haiku verse in 
numerous appropriate locations, and flowers, ferns, and shrubbery growing beneath the tall 
western red cedars, Douglas firs, and big-leaf maples. Ilga invited us to partake of a fish 'kiss' at 
the pond's edge. One encircles a bit of fish food in one's palm and lower the palm into the 
water. The Koi carp, most about two feet long, approach and just nuzzle at the food source and 
swim quickly away. From a list of their plants, we learned that they have over 3,000 varieties, 
including 27 species of ferns. It truly felt as if you were walking through an Indonesian garden. 

At Henry's Plant Farm, Snohomish, we were arranged in three groups of six or seven to 
tour the greenhouses. Henry's began as a small fern nursery 30 or 40 years ago and 
gradually evolved to a full-scale nursery specialising in ferns and a wide variety of other 
plants. We were escorted through the 'start-up' houses, where spores germinated and grew 
into prothalli, then into the next greenhouse where the sporelings were growing, and finally 
to the 'finished product' sheds where plants were made ready for market. Our particular 
group was led by the sales manager, so he was primarily interested in how long it took to 
grow a plant from spore to mature fern (18 to 36 months). In one greenhouse the space was 
taken up by hundreds of large pots of caladiums planted with maidenhair fern at their base, 
ready for shipment by air-freight or FedEx to the Wal-Marts and K-Marts of the world. 

i by Henry's Plant Farm and were able to continue 
any aspects of fern horticulture that intrigued us. 
At Leavenworth in the evening Martin Rickard reminded me on our way to dinner that I was 
still 'on duty', as the group passed by Equisetum hyemale subsp. affine growing alongside the 
sidewalk. So, of course, I have to mention it. What a great day, with a wonderful group! 
North fork of Teanaway River, Wenatchee Mountains (Saturday) Jennifer Ide 

The flora of the upper Teanaway River is determined by the serpentinite soils of the area. 
These soils are not only infertile, but the very high magnesium level in particular, and also the 
high levels of chromium, cobalt and nickel are toxic to plants. This reduces the competition 
between plants, and allows only those tolerant of the high magnesium and the heavy metals to 
colonise the soils. Compounding the mineral-based infertility, these soils are mixed with rocks 
and contain little organic matter, and consequently they have a low water-holding capacity and 
are powdery dry. With time, due to their isolation, endemics evolve on these inhospitable soils, 
but the species diversity is always low. At Teanaway, the diversity is even lower than might be 
anticipated, due to glaciation 12,000 years ago and the formation of continental ice, both of 
which reduced the opportunity for the evolution of endemics. The vegetation is 
characteristically open with much bare ground, and the plants exhibit xeromorphic characters. 
At Beverly Creek Bridge, our first stop, we met Professor Art. R. Kruckeberg, esteemed for his 
botanical work in Wenatchee National Forest, and our guide for the day. Two ferns grew on the 
roadside banks at Beverly Creek. Rare in the Washington flora but common in localised sites, 
n endemic found exclusively on serpentinite soils from the north of 
British Columbia to the Siskiyou Mountains in south Oregoa Aspidotis densa is also endemic 
and a good indicator of serpentinite soils, though is occasionally found growing on other soils. 
Further along the river valley at Yahoo Horse Camp, the open forest was dominated by 
uouglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), with other scattered tree species, whilst dominating 
he open ground vegetation was a prostrate serpentine form of common juniper {Juniperus 
communis), a prostrate ericoid - pinemat manzanita {Arctostaphylos nevadensis), and a blue 
grass (Agropyron spicatum), another serpentine indicator common in Washington State. A 
cryptogarnic crust of mosses and lichens protected the open soil surface in this area. Again, 
ptendopnyte species were conspicuous by their absence, but in some localised areas 
tenawm aqmhnum var. pubescens was a dominant of the ground vegetation and large 
™antum aleuticum subsp. calderi grew along the banks of a stream running 
! form of A. aleuticum could be recognised by its crowded, 

down the hillside. This 


s taken at the Yahoo Horse Camp campsite,' w here Equis 

surrounded by typical open serpentine forest, was 
hilonotis fonhuta -Uhantunt aleuticum subsp. caldt 
im aquilinum var. pubescens was growing around ti 
ared to have a preference for moist areas; although n 
aphic ecotype. 

Still further along the road, at Kigali's Creek, more than 5,000 feet above sea level, a sleep 
climb was necessary that involved negotiating large, almost cliff-like boulders among 
which grew Pseudotsuga menziesii, again the dominant tree of the open forest. 
Cryptogramma acrostichoides and rather poor specimens of Aspidotis densa were found as 
part of the ground vegetation, together with dried-up, presumably dormant, plants of 
Cheilanthes gracillima and Selaginella densa. In crevices in the rocks a few rather reduced 
specimens of Polypodium hesperium were also found. On the other side of the road, 
growing at the base of rocks above a waterfall and the white-water rapids of Ingall's I reek. 
were more plants of Polys tichum lemmonii and Aspidotis densa. 
Despite the small number of pteridophytes seen, this was a botanically fascinating day. 

Elandan Gardens and The Rhododendron Species Foundation (Sunday) 

Martin Rickard 

An early start was rewarded with a bracing trip across Puget Sound to Bremerton. The ferry 

was a really super way to start the day, relaxing with a cup of coffee in great company 

surrounded by magnificent scenery dominated by the receding Seattle skyline and the 

snowy dome of Mount Rainier. 

From Bremerton it was a short drive. 

first stop. Here we 

Robinson. This is r 

trees, driftwood, water features and 

I understand it but 


a wonderful creative 

! setting for 

a garden. Ferns w< 

;re scattered 

throughout for effect, 

in particular attracting 

; my interest. 

Apparently Dan 


discovered a heavily ci 

rested form of 

Polypodium glycytrhi: 

za in Oregon 

by the side of Interst; 

ate 5, a main 

motorway, about 20 years ago. He 

as being very similar to the form 
I call P. glycyrrhiza (Grandiceps 
group). This 

After lunch we moved on to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden where the Hardy 
Fern Foundation holds its principal collection. We were shown around mainly by Michelle 
Bundy and Becky Reimer. Initially we admired the large number of plants waiting to be 
installed in the gardens and then, in baking heat, we slowly toured the wide collection of 
ferns in the garden itself, spread, I guess, over several acres. Unusually most taxa were 
represented by many plants; for example there could easily have been 50 plants of 
Polvstichum polyblepharum in one drift. Elsewhere much smaller numbers represented rarer 
species. One plant of particular interest to me was Blechnum niponicum. It was very 
interesting to see it here, reinforcing my opinion that the populations of Pacific Northwest 
B. spicant are not the same as in Europe but have something of the 'giz' of B. niponicum in 
them. Cultivars were few but room was found for Blechnum spicant 'Serratum Rickard'! 
The whole garden was immaculate. At the time of our visit, many of the ferns were still fairly 
young, but plenty of room had been left for each plant to eventually show its full potential. 
In a splendid collection like this there were a large number of ferns that are uncommon or 
absent in British gardens but seemed to be relatively widespread in the Seattle area, 
e.g. Cyrtomium macrophyllum, Dryopteris x australis, D. bissetiana, D. championii, 
D. cystolepidota, D.formosana, D. indusiata, D. kashmiriana, D. lepidopoda, D. namegatae, 
D. scottii, D. uniformis, Polys tichum neolobatum and P. retrosopaleaceum. One or two 
ferns grown here would struggle in central England, e.g. Doodia media, Hypolepis 
punctata, Rumohra adiantiformis and Arachniodes simplicior. Clearly the climate is milder 
in Seattle, the coldest recorded last winter was -2°C - wouldn't I just love a climate like 
that! Despite the soft c 

two were seen elsewhere, e.g. young plants of Dicksonia a 
trunk, one Cyathea cooperi with about 12 inches of trunk in Willana Bradner's garden and 
a truly magnificent specimen of Dicksonia fibrosa in Sylvia Duryee's garden. Later in the 
week, I saw that Dicksonia antarctica and Cyathea cooperi were common further south in 

Mount Rainier (Monday) John Scott 

This was an early day, leaving the University of Washington at 7.30a.m. for our sojourn on 
Mount Rainier. On a clear day one can theoretically see Mt Rainier, rising 14,410 feet 
above sea level, from Seattle, which according to my topography map is 60 miles away. As 
we travelled on Route 4101 couldn't resist taking pictures, though shooting from a moving 
bus through a spotty window doesn't give the best results. 

Our first stop was a viewpoint at Tipsoo Lake, with a wonderful view of Mt Rainier about 
ten miles away and a profusion of avalanche lily (Erythronium montanum). 
Our second stop was the 'Grove of the Patriarchs', a marvellous stand of Douglas fir and 
our only really good look at the ferns of Mt Rainier. While the list of the Park's 
pteridophytes that we were provided with contained 49 species, I recorded only six. 
Botrychium lanceolatum was a second find for me, having only seen it for the first time the 
previous summer in New Jersey. Even though B. multifidum occurs in the east, this was my 
first sighting. The remaining ferns, western species not seen in the east at all, included 
Dryopteris expansa, Gymnocarpium disjunctum with yellow streaks, Polypodium 
hesperium and Polystichum munitum. Our western guides were calling all of their oak ferns 
<j disjum turn, though the Flora of North America shows both G disjunctum and 
G. dryopteris in the Northwest. These plants looked like G. dryopteris to me! 
Our third stop was Reflection Lake, aptly named as we could see a mirror-image of Mt 
Rainier in the water. In the wet seep across the road was a profusion of colour: red 
Castelleja parviflora, white avalanche lily, blue lupine (Lupinus latifohus), pink 
upatormm occidentale and dark pink buds of Phyllodoce empetriformis. 

Our final stop was the Paradise visitor centre. This was my second trip to Mount Rainier, 
having travelled there with three naturalists from the Delaware County Institute of Science 
in Pennsylvania as a graduate student in May 1964. What I remembered most was the 
profusion of wildflowers and the compression of seasons from the coast summer, to the 
glaciers of Mt Rainier- spring I his tunc was no disappointment. I he alpine meadow at the 
foot of the glaciers was spectacular. A sampling of \vi 
Castelleja parviflora, shooting-star (Dodecathcon jclfnyi 
occidentak . / Lie lupine, Phyllodoce 

( I 'cratrum virick) and bear grass (Xerophyllum tenax). 

Bainbridge Island Library and Jocelyn Horder's Garden (Tuesday) Robert Sykes 

Our day began, as the best days should, with a ferry trip across Puget Sound, the snow- 
capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains along the western horizon and a mug ot excellent 
Seattle coffee in hand. 

First call was the fern garden of the Bainbridge Island Library. This is a creation of the 
Hardy Fern Foundation as part of its mission to encourage the use of ferns in the garden. It 
is set in a long strip of ground behind the library, shaded by trees. A ditch along one side 
took the drainage from the car park and provided a congenial setting for osmundas and 
other moisture-loving plants. It was established onh three \ears ago and was masterminded. 
with volunteers, by John van den Meerendonk, a practising landscape gardener and new 1> 
installed as president of the Hardy Fern Foundation. After initial problems with a heavy 
clay soil, it was improved by rotavation and a heavy mulch with rotted bark. Not all the 
ferns had survived, and currently the Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata' was struggling, 
but most ferns were flourishing and there were particularly fine stands of Woodwardia 
fxmbriata and Polystichum neohbatum. John had some new ferns ready for planting. It 
provided plenty of interest for our group of specialists and certainly fulfilled well its 
objective as an educational demonstration garden. 

On to Jocelyn Horder's wonderful garden at Poulsbo, where she greeted us and told us the 
history of the property. Apparently the site had originally been occupied by the local pastor, 
who in the absence of any roads used to row around the creek to service the needs of his 
flock. The garden is by the water, facing west to the Olympic Mountains. The main room of 
the house has a wall of glass to take advantage of the view. The sunsets must be superb. A 
narrow peninsula runs out from the house dominated by a huge sculptural dead tree, 
bleached by the weather. It must have taken courage to leave it when it died, but the effect 

We were greeted at the gate by Denise Kelly, the gardener, and left free to wander. It is a 
garden of many elements a pond surrounded by a rockery, a colonnade hung with 
Wisteria seed pods - you don't see that in England, a great bleached tree root, a trademark 
of Dan Robinson, whom we had met at the Elandan Garden and who did part of the design, 
a bonsai display, walks by the water; and always the smell of the sea. Some fine ferns too: a 
very elegant Polystichum setiferum 'Multilobum' with some light cresting, Matteuccia 
orientalis, brought as a Blechnum from Korea and unfamiliar to many of us. Jocelyn has a 
sure touch with Cheilanthes - a fine pot ornamented the porch and there was a wonderful 
great patch ol [Cheilanthes fendleri in the rockery at the front. 

Our journey then took us round the coast to Port Angeles. There was no time that evening to go 
up the ridge behind to snatch a view of the Olympics, but we did go as far as the visitor centre, 
and a few of us went up a wooded valley on the Peabody Trail. There we saw Polystichum 

munitum. \thvnwn ','. K-tewwa var , ■. . i,m. Dryopteris expansu, G 

diyunctum. Adiantum alcuthwn. Polypodium glycyrrhiza and Equisetum telmateia. These 
seemed to constitute the typical woodland floor pteridophyte flora of the region. 

Hoh River Rain Forest (Wednesday) j ac k Schieber 

The day started at 5a.m. for a group of four carried by Nils Sundquist in his car on a side 
trip to Hurricane Ridge, a high, more open part of the Olympic National Park, accessible 
from the Port Angeles area where we had stayed the night. There were no new fern species on 
the drive up and none were seen at the end of the road. Reportedly, there is a Polystichum 
kruckebergii 7.6 miles out on a trail - too far to go in the time permitted. Our visitors did 
report seeing a deer, a chipmunk and a marmot. New plants found included Menzies' larkspur 
{Delphinium menziesii) and white-flowered rhododendron {Rhododendron albiflorum). 
As we drove in on the approach road to the Hoh Rain Forest, I was struck by the view of forest 
floor covered by ferns and I overheard someone on the bus exclaim, 'impressive'. People who 
are not fernophiles often confuse quantity with diversity, recommending as great a location 
that turns out to have only one fern species covering the ground. Some of us want localities 
where we can find many species and hybrid ferns. But as we rolled along in the bus I mused 
and became aware of the beauty of this woodland filled with sword fern {Polystichum 
munition), a straggler in my eastern garden but seen everywhere on this foray. There is beauty 
in abundance and lushness just as there is in the plant itself. When I travelled in the UK I saw 
everywhere that pestilent weed, bracken, and it is obviously a problem for farmers and other 
plants. But I make the challenge - close off the mind and let the eye hold sway - see that 
hillside covered with bracken - see the plant and its form - and be immersed in beauty. 
The Hoh River Valley rainfall ranges from 140 to 167 inches (that's 12 to 14 feet) of rain 
per year as the Olympic Mountains disturb the moisture-laden winds from the Pacific 
Ocean; Port Angeles on the leeward side receives about 20 inches per year. The trees in the 
valley were old and huge and festooned with moss, creating an ethereal understorey that 
could be inhabited by Hobbits. The dominant trees, some reaching 300 feet in height, were 
s.tka spruce, western hemlock and western red cedar. Big-leaf maple, vine maple, red alder 
and black Cottonwood were the predominant deciduous trees. The Olympic National Park 
lists five trees recognised by American Forests as the largest living specimens of their 
species. Alaska cedar {Chamaecyparis nootkatensis), Pacific silver fir {Abies amabilis), 
suoaipme fir {Abies lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa), Engelmann spruce {Picea engelmannii) 
nw!l! S ^ red /f dar ( Thu J a Plicata). The presence of nurse trees or nurse logs is a unique 
cha a tenstic of thl forest The ^ rf ^ ^ ^ ^.^ ^ ^ 

process of decay and act as a nursery for tree and plant seedlings. And so we saw a line of 
Zl r W 7. 8 f ° ng 10 ° f£et ° f l0g havin S roots distorted to ™ch «ound the log to the 
n„re" VuAu ^ ^ UnUSUal t0 See a tree with roots circ,in g * kind of hole where the 
nurse log had been and had rotted away. 

amX^fi 011 ^i! ; CCntre a Ranger guided us over the wood walkw ays that carried us 
Ferns of th"^ T W ' "^ ^ ° f the eight fern s P ecies llsted » * e Park handout ' 

aZLI fr ^ P ° lyStichum "— rrhiza, Blechnum spicant, 

temina var. cyclosorum, Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens, Adiantum 

Zr 1t"h 'J Gymmcar P ium ^opteris and Dryopteris expanse. By 
uennned tqmsetum telmateia, E. arvense and SW^,,,,,// .„ 

was everywhere on the 

Leaving Hoh and travelling south along the coast we first s 
{PolvlZ y Walk , thr0U § h the wo ° d s above the headland. F 
(Polypodium scouleri), and large burls on spruce trees. 

*s ts r ge ™t f z\ wh rr we were grccted by a jumb,e ° f huge drift iogs aiong *! 

tidal pools Dowf Tu °° k formatlons ^ong the beach among which were scattered 
pecuWes^Ie ba , Ch * ** ^^ gaVe US a short lecture °" tidal ^ ^ ** 

Lw^Tsuck * b T ** anemones and hermit crabs that inhabit them - a starfish was 

ne short hairs of my head and in pulling it away I lost a few more to the 

chagrin of the Ru ed at Kalaloch Lodge on the beachhead, where we saw 

the most lovely clump of P. scouleri growing in a tree stump a few feet from a building. 
Lake Quinalt (Thursday) Alan Ogden 

Our day began rather later than usual due to the joys of Kalaloch Lodge. Perched on a low 
cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the cabins had fantastic views. Pofypodium scouleri 
grew on many of the large trees nearby, and Polystichum mumtum. Aihvrium tilix-fcmiiui 
var. cyclosorum ed in the undergrowth. 

ride south to 'Beach one', and we approached the sea cliff through a 
spruce carried burls. These huge tumours are not fully 
a small grub that attacks the leader bud of the tree when it is 
young. The burls didn't appear to affect the health of the trees and they provided convenient 
perches for P. scouleri, which grew in profusion. It did not seem to b 
by the spell of dry weather; no doubt there a more moisture near the coast. 
The ferns we saw at the Lodge also grew here, with the addition of Dryopteris e 
bracken. Our attention was also drawn to the false lily of the valley (Mkmthemtn 
which grew in quantity beneath the huge trees. Looking along the beach there was ar 

and there are warning Mgns that the\ can ni.! •< kill the unwary when to 

We had a short 
wood where again th 
understood but are initi 

Pacific Beach, Olympic peninsula, Washington, USA 

-. Jennifer Ide, Pat Acock, Graham Ackers, Martin Rickard, 
Lyman Black, Nils Sundquist, Jack Schieber 
Richie Steffen, Sylvia Duryee, Alan Ogden, Peter Meegdes, Becky Reimer, 
Bill Plummer, Michelle Bundy 
: Mick & Linda Craddock, Christian & Margit Kohout, Rose Marie Schieber, 
John Scott, Robert Sykes, Sue Olsen, Joy Neal 

At 9.45 we moved on, and further down the coastal road came to Lake Quinault Nature Walk 
where there was a short loop for gentle walkers and a longer trek ending at the hotel for the 
more athletic ones among us. There was a lovely walk through temperate rain forest where the 
moss-draped trees, vegetation and fallen trunks were so thick that it would have been 
impossible to make progress were it not for the trails prepared for visitors. It was not long 
before we took a wrong turn, which was fortunate as it led us alongside a pretty little stream 
where Adiantum aleuticum decorated the steep sides of the valley. We soon found the right 
trail, where Pofystichum munitum grew in profusion as it does all over this area, with Bkchnum 
■> ml bterspeised in the damper patches. Athyrium filbc-femina var. cyclosorum and Pteridium 
aquilinum var. pubescens were noted again and the oak fern {Gymnocarpium c 
covered the ground in any clearings. Those who took the longer trail noted Equisetun 
/ 1 < opodium davatum and a bifid form ofBlechnum spicant growing in some quant 
Lunch was taken at Lake Quinault Lodge, which was situated on the edge of 
Lake Quinault. Rather more imagination was shown o 
combination of ingredients in some traditional recipes. 

In the short time available before we boarded the bus for the long drive to Kelso, Pat Acock 
found both Equisetum fluviatile and E. palustre at the edge of the lake. On the long journey 
it was interesting to see how the trees ended when we left the National Park. We ended our 
journey at the Red Lion Hotel at Kelso, where we spent the night and some members made 
use of the pleasant outdoor swimming pool while others settled into the huge bar area. 
Mount St Helens (Friday) Pat Acock 

This was an absolute must for the tour. We had lodged within striking distance of the 
volcano the night before and reached the first visitor centre early. After looking at the 
interpretation displays and watching the short films we started the long drive to the closest 
point to the volcano that is accessible by road. Nothing really prepares you for the power 
and devastation caused by one of these cataclysmic events. Two-foot diameter trees 
snapped off at waist height five miles from the blast, and the size of the hole in the side of 
the volcano do, however, bring home the reality of it all. 
Whilst many took in the sights and looked around the top ranger station, I set off to travel as 

had seen much supporting evidence on the way up, but I was pleased to find Pol) tfkhm 
munitum and Athyrium filbc-femina var. cyclosorum also making a start. However, the swards 
of flowers in some areas were breathtaking, especially the paintbrush {Castilleja parviflora), 
growing in apomictic clones with bracts ranging from vermilion to cerise to magenta. 
Too soon we were on our way back. Our evening was to be spent at a celebration dinner in the 
penthouse restaurant of Lyman Black's apartment complex and we had to cover some distance. 
At dinner, Graham Ackers kindly led the vote of thanks to the large number of helpers who 
had made the excursion possible but principally to Sue who had organised the tour to 
perfection, putting in hours and hours of planning and discussions to finally come up with just 
that right balance of gardens and field meetings that really was the 'Best of the West'. 
We then had a chance to look around Lyman's fern garden with the waters of Lake Washington 
gently lapping all around, before finishing the tour with a lecture and slide pres€ il itioo bj 
Martin Packard on some of the best fem gardens he knows. We then had to say our final 
goodbyes, but not before Jerry Little, our coach driver for most of the tour, made a small speedL 
Jerry had played no small part in making sure that we were comfortable throughout the hot 
weather that accompanied the trip and with his cheery good nature kept us amused and 'on task'. 
We hope that the friendships and contacts made during the tour will develop into mutual 
support and understanding of each other and generalh further our aims to develop the 
interest and conservation of our beloved ferns. 


-22-23 August Pat Acock 

Four of us met on Friday morning at the head of Brock Valley Nature Trail (34/549430), about 
eight miles north of Preston. Armed with a list of ferns found on m\ recce' we set oil' at a 
reasonable pace, which continued until Barry Colville realised that tins was an excellent site 
for molluscs. This allowed the rest of us to scout around more and it was not long before 
Frances Haigh had added Blechnum spicant to the existing list In a laruc meadow above the 
trail, flushed gently with bases, we found an enormous stand of Equisetum telmatem. and just 
below on the riverbank were two magnificent plants of Potystk hum a uleatum. On an old mill 
further down we found Asplenium ruta-muraria and just beyond this we came across a very 
large specimen of what was almost certainly Dryopteris x compkwu. \\ e retraced our steps and 
crossed the car park to examine a wall, thus adding Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadm ulcus. 
The other ferns recorded were Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata, D. affinis subspp. qf finis and 
borreri, Pteridium aquilinum, Athyrium filix-femina and Polypodium vulgare. 

We then moved on to lunch a mile or so to the eas 
(34/565427). The wood was characterised by having 

estimated that more than 95% were Dryopteris dilatata and most of the rest were bracken. 
However, we did add Equisetum arvense and Oreopteris limbosperma to the morning's roll- 
call after toiling through thick rushes and having a young mum coming over and 
enthusiasticalJy thrusting some baby frogs at us to examine. She obviously guessed we were 
kindred spirits. After these exertions we sat down on a strategically placed bench for four, 

I had obtained two tickets from Matt Busby for Saturday for the Southport Flower Show. 
Unfortunately, I failed to contact Rita Baker, who was the only other member pencilled in 
for the meeting, and only met her once we were inside. The show is still a tour deforce of 
all things horticultural. Matt was ably assisted on the BPS stand by Ray and Brenda Smith 
and Ann Gill. The theme of the show was 'Plants and Literature' and Matt had done a great 
job for the Society of finding many references to ferns from Shakespeare and the classics, 
which were well arranged among the fern exhibits to very pleasing effect. [See also Mart's 
account of the Show on p. 152.] 

Rita and I felt a little guilty about taking Ann away but she was keen to show us one stall in 
particular as well as to see a little of the show herself. Our overall impression was that 
although perhaps the Society may not have had a high profile over recent years, the hard 
work of members doing a little here and there must have influenced the present times. 
Everywhere we went ferns were being used discretely and subtly. Two stands stood out 
fern-wise: Kaye's Silverdale Nursery, which had some beautiful ferns, and also Trevana 
Cross Nursery, Helston. I spoke to the owner of Trevana Cross who had imported some real 
gems from a New Zealand nursery. Two that caught my eye were the Asplenium hybrid 
'Maori Princess' {A. bulbiferumxA. oblongifolium) and well grown Blechnumfluviatile. 

Time flew by, and Rita and I only 
just made the doors of The 
Southport Fernery, Churchtown 
riute to spare. At 1pm 
on the dot, Gary Manser, the 
person in charge, appeared and 
took us around. The fernery had 
:ential, with tufa walls 
providing the right growing 
conditions for ferns. Gary was 
able to spend sufficient time in 
the fernery in between his other 
commitments to keep the place 
weed-free and tidy and he had 
recently added a few new plants. 
The fernery, however, was 
inundated with fern weeds such 
as Adiantum capillus-veneris, 
Asplenium bulbiferum, Cyrtomium 
fortunei, C. falcatum and Pteris 
i. Other dominant weeds 
ivy-leaved toadflax and 
Asparagus sprengeri. All these 
i good backdrop for other ferns and a few more choice ferns would 
really enhance the fernery. Budgets are tight these days but with the cost of maintenance 
and Gary's time to keep the fernery nice, the extra expense of a few new plants each year 
would seem minimal and we hope Gary can continue to add to the collection. We gave 
im suggestions as to where he may receive help but if you feel you could donate a few 
Plants or live nearby and could help in any other way, I'm sure Gary would be pleased to 
hear from you. y 

Although few in number, when we i 
Southport Flower Show, I feel we ha 
company and some lovely ferns. 

LYNTON, DEVON - 12-14 S 

Some twenty-eight members assembled at the Bridge Inn, Lynton on the Friday evening to 
be briefed on the weekend's meeting by the leader, Paul Ripley. He circulated a handout 
providing details of the sites to be visited. We were fortunate to be blessed with the most 
gorgeous September weather although the fern growers amongst us were agreeing how 
desperate we were for some rain. 

Saturday came and our first port of call was at Ashcombe, Simonsbath at 21/774394. 
Close to the car park were the public conveniences, which gave us our first glimpse of 
the ferns in the area. On the walls we found Asplenhtm trichomanes, A. ruta-muraria, 
A. scoiopendrium, Polypodium vulgare and a couple of small plants of Cystopteris 
fragilis. More hart's tongue was found along the small brook that ran through the car 

We made our way alongside the brook and quickly found large areas of bracken, 
Pteridium aquilimim. It was also pleasing to see Polypodium vulgare growing as it 
should be seen, as an epiphyte on the branches of the trees. Throughout the woodland we 
found Dryopteris filix-mas, Athyrium filix-femina, Blechnum spicant, Dryoptehs dilatata 
and D. affinis agg. D. affinis subsp. borreri was quite abundant in this area, as it was 
throughout the area we visited over the weekend. This gave us the opportunity to discuss 
and examine its distinguishing features. Nick Hards concluded that D. affinis subsp. 
affinis was also present at this site although it was not seen at any other place we visited. 
In the more open areas we found Oreopteris limbosperma and a strong candidate for 
D. affinis subsp. cambrensis, a frond of which was taken for further study. Polypodium 
vulgare was also very evident and we quickly realised that both P. vulgare and 
P. interjectum were present. The consensus of opinion was that P. vulgare tended to be 
on the trees (although it also occurred on walls) and P. interjectum was mainly found on 

the car park, Paul led us on to another site close b 
j away at Lime Combe (21/765394). Here we wei 
but well grown plant of beech fern, Phegopteris connectilis. This w 
because it is not at all common in that area. During our ramble to this 
low retaining wall thickly fur 
i-nigrum a 

shown a small 
? a good find 

i Porlock, Nick Hards and some of the party stopped t 
noorland at Chetsford Water (21/847420). Oreoptm 
idant there. 

Joan met us at her gate an 
ushered us onto the lawn at th 
side of the house where she gav 

varieties. After a most interesting 
talk and armed with maps of the 
garden, we explored the various 
ferns that Joan had kindly drawn 

[reencombe and it had 1 

garden, which many of us found 

quite a delightful surprise. At the 

far end of the garden she had built 

a small, round timber building. 

Described as a Millennium Chapel. 

a few seats were arranged around 

the sides of the building and a 

esentation of the Holy Mothei 

( hild. exquisitely can 

chestnut, provided 

J always considered Greencombe 
but this new addition gives a totally new and perhaps unique 
tour, Joan kindly invited us into her home to enjoy 
Some of the party stopped in the car park at Lynmouth, 
the sea front enabled them to admire the Aspler 
(21/721498). During the 'recce' this species h^ .... 
Rocks, to the seaward side of Castle Rock, where it was not found during the Society's 
previous visit. Returning to Lynton, we all gathered at the Bridge Inn for evening drinks 
and supper at the end of a very successful and pleasant day. 

Sunday dawned bright and clear and we all made our way the short distance to Watersmeet 
(21/744486), arguably the most scenic part of Exmoor. We made our way down into the 
gorge. Here we were able to add to the previous day's list with Polxstichum setiferum and 
Vum tunbrigeme. In spite of diligent searching we were unable to find its 
companion, H. wilsomi. Another item of interes 
stage of Trichomanes speciosum in a small cav« 
National Trust shop. 

Loth as we were to leave such a ferny setting, we 

- u,c mgn cnns to take advantage of the i 
Descending into the Hebden Valley we made 
thoughtfully reserved tables for our lunch. 

After lunch it was with much regret that I had to depart for home, leaving Paul to lead 
the meeting on to Woody Bay. The party first visited Trentishoe Church (21 6474N6). 
where it was hoped to see five aspleniums on the walls. Unfortunately, it was only on 
driving away that Nick Hards realised that the A. ceterach was on a wall a short distance 

After parking above Woody Bay (21/675489), it was only a short stroll before we first 
came across Dryopteris aemula. This seemed to be quite selective but in places was the 
dominant species, although on the slopes it was suffering from treatment intended to kill 
the ubiquitous Rhododendron ponticum. A small, crested Dryopteris Mix-mas was found 
and lower down we came across Asplenium ceterach on a wall. Both Polypodium \ ul\iu>\ 
and P. interjectum were present and it was felt that one particularly impressive plant 
might be P. x mantoniae. Some material from that and a possible plant of Dryopteris x 
complexa were taken away for further examination. 
Altogether this was a highly successful me 
possible hybrids) were found but, curiously, 
for her usual kind hospitality and for provi< 
Hards for assisting with this report and to P 

A.cock, Leonard V. A. Sandy Strang, 

Steve Munyard, Jonathan Crowe, Derick Turner, Christine Mullins. Paul Ripley, 

Peter Tindley. Pat Acock, Roger Golding 

die: Tony & Mary Atkinson, Tim Pyner, Andrew Leonard, Joan Loraine. Brenda Smith. 

Linda & Mick Craddock 

Front: Eily & Paul Ruston, Nick & Eleanor Hards, Jennifer Ide, Graham Ackers 












m tunbrigense 


Trichomanes speciosum 


m virfgare 






r nta-h mm 




P. x mantoniae 


Pteridium aquilinum 







Phegopteris connectilis 


Oreopteris limbosperma 















A. marinum 


A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalent 






A. mta-muraria 




A. ceterach 










Cystopteris fragilis 





Dryopteris filix-mas 







D. affinis subsp 


D. affinis subsp. borreri 







). cambrensis 

D. aemula 


D. dilatata 







D. x complexa 








I h ™Wh mV r? c a11 r u 3derS ° f tWs flM/feriw t0 join the Am erican Fern Society. You are welcome 
times a ve i ^ amerfernsocor g- Re gular members receive Fiddtehead Forum five 

them Ja ar ' a n ™ e " er P ub l'shed for those who are interested in growing ferns, hunting for 
ual lv /^ mg , thdr kn ° Wledge 0f fems " Joumal m ^bers also receive the scientific 
22^*"" , JOUmal Membershi P «»ts $19 and S32 per annum respectively for 
Serl For ? T , USA ' ^"^ ° r Mexico ' includin S P osta S e for ainiwil-assistod 
P O Rnv -70? c U r S Se Wnte to Dr Geor g e Yatskievych, Missouri Botanical Garden, 
ProsnerW™ k *' MisSOUri 6316 6-0299, USA ( 

embers res.dmg in Great Britain should write to Mr M.S. Porter, 5 West Avenue, 
wigton, Cumbna CA7 9LG ( uk) 
SS? N PA ™*NTS: Our societies have an exchange arrangement whereby 

7c7 verS actZ ^r ** AFS "* P **«** and 

vice versa. Contact your Membership Secretary for details 


- 22 March Graham Ackers 

As has happened frequently in the past, this meeting was held at The Natural History 
Museum, a highly appropriate and conveniently central venue. The Museum, and in 
particular the Society's members on the professional staff, have always been most 
ar activities, and this event was no exception. The Mineralogy Seminar 
v venue for us and was ideal for this meeting. For the morning session it 

The first talk, by Josephine Camus, was titled Tlisuir\ o! fern classification'. The pre- 
Linnaean fem names situation was illustrated by Josephine showing pictures of some 
ancient (16th century) manuscripts. Here we saw how the identities of AspU-nium 
scolopendhum and A. ceterach were confused; this was important as they were used to treat 
very different ailments. However, the earlier conquering influence of the Romans had 
imposed a de facto Latin language standard for the publication of learned works. Josephine 
then established the need for accurate naming, by showing slides of both Hyactnthokks 
non-scripta and Campanula rohmdifolia, both being known as a bluebell in England and 
Scotland respectively. Definitions of systematics, taxonomy and phylogeny were presented. 
and the species was cited as the unit of classification. The binomial system of Linnaeus u.h 
I in the Species Plantarum in 1753 (the baseline for plant names] Perhaps some 
laware of the fact that the establishment of Linnaeus' 
ental. Linnaeus' adopted approach was to provide an 
for each organism, plus a shortened form (the binomial) for 
the longer form was inappropriate or unnecessary. The shortened 
! Although John Ray had thought that all parts of a plant should be used for 
his fern taxonomy on the sorus alone. This approach 
i to be followed by such luminaries as W.J. Hooker and J.G. Baker, although 
others had started to consider the use of non-soral characters. However, the real 
breakthrough did not occur until the 1940s, when R.C. Ching started to use a multiplicity of 
characters. He and other authors presented their own - issification of 

ferns, entailing the differentiation of many more genera than Linnaeus had defined. This in 
turn has contributed to the convoluted naming history of many fems, and Josephine 
provided detailed examples with two well known ferns - Phlebodium aureum and 
Gymnocarpium dryopteris. Despite being easily recognisable and stable entities, both 
species have been encumbered with many names in the past! The talk included a discussion 
of naming processes - the type specimen concept, the meanings of names, abbreviations of 
authors, generic changes, and in particular the current importance of the International Code 
of Botanical Nomenclature. Josephine's talk was full of fascinating detail, and this brief 
summary does no more than give a flavour of its content. 

The next talk was given by Alison Paul and was titled 'The workings of the herbarium'. 
Essentially, a herbarium exists to provide pressed reference plant specimens. The Natural 
History Museum's herbarium is one of the world's third largest, tying for this position with 
St Petersburg and New York (about 6 to 6.5 million specimens each), the largest being Paris 
(about 9m specimens), and second largest Kew (over 7m specimens). These are all national 
herbaria, the distinction being drawn between these, regional herbaria and personal 
herbaria. Alison gave a brief history of The Natural History Museum, from its origins in 
1753 in the British Museum's Department of Natural and Artificial Productions, which was 
divided into three natural history branches (later departments) in 1837, the move of the 


natural history departments to South Kensington in 1881 and their official separation from 
the British Museum in 1963. Alison went on to describe the history of the botanical 
collections, including the substantial boosting of the pteridophyte collection with the 
acquisition of John Smith's personal herbarium. Both Kew and The Natural History 
Museum now have a very large number of fern specimens (over 250,000 each), with more 
being acquired each year. There is a large backlog of specimens awaiting incorporation into 
: goal had been to complete this project. However, 
i of about 2,000 specimens and as there are 
currently 69,000 awaiting attention, the realisation has dawned that this goal may be 
unattainable! Alison continued her history by recounting the locations of the Cryptogamic 
Herbarium, showing a picture of the flowering plant herbarium, which then occupied the 
present site of 'the crypt', following the incendiary bomb damage in 1941, and a further 
picture in the less cluttered days of 1968. 

The landmark publication A new generic sequence for the pteridophyte herbarium by 
Crabbe, Jermy and Mickel in 1975 provides the filing arrangement in use in the herbarium, 
though this has been modified over the years. 

The herbarium is a rich source of historical and distributional information. It is most helpful 
to have more than one specimen of a species in order to demonstrate variation, and provide 
potential source material should a species be split. However, there had been over-zealous 
collection of some species, and Alison showed a picture of a herbarium sheet of 
Ophioglossum lusitanicum containing over 100 specimens. This was clearly over the top, and 
to be deplored on conservation grounds. To be of value, the herbarium should be used as much 
as possible, and this was now being further facilitated through the modern concept of the 
'virtual herbarium' - i.e. making databases and images of specimens available via the Internet. 
Alison then described the acquisition process. All specimens are frozen on arrival to kill 
insect pests, which can be a problem in temperate climates (but are a far greater problem in 
the tropics). In addition to her fern herbarium responsibilities, Alison also co-ordinates 
Integrated Pest Management for the whole department! Following databasing (and labelling 
if necessary), acquisitions are 'laid out', a process requiring a combination of artistic and 
practical skills and understanding of the plants. The importance of this stage was 
demonstrated by examples of both good and poor layouts. Next comes mounting with glue 
and linen straps. Although the main collection is in the form of specimens mounted on 
paper, there is also a collection of ferns preserved in 'fern pickle' (a concoction based on 
industrial methylated spirits), a useful preservation medium where sectioning for 
microscopic examination is required. Finally, Alison showed us her job description, which 
did not seem to allow any time for eating and sleeping! 

Fred Rumsey commenced his talk 'What is a species?' by highlighting how controversial a 
discussion point this can be! Compared to some other plants, however, fern entities have 
remained relatively stable. Fred's view is that the species concept 'generally works', but is 
more difficult to actually define. Particular difficulties arise when considering/anticipating 
the past/present/future evolutionary changes that an entity can undergo. Historically, species 
were defined by the morphological similarities between specimens. However, in the 1950s 
Ernst Mayr introduced the biological species concept of interbreeding natural populations. 
Unfortunately, difficulties can arise with this over a geographical continuum of closely 
related interbreeding populations. For example, spread across a continent, A can breed with 
B which can breed with C which can breed with D, but A cannot breed with D. Another 
'problem' with Mayr is that 10% of ferns are apomictic, and so do not 'interbreed'. Another 
example of why the morphological concept does not always work was provided by the 
Athynum flexile and A. distentifolium situation, two morphotypes looking different, but in 
sing interfertile examples of what m,.* h* ™n«,WH « single species 

I L distentifolium). Fred bemoaned the fact that project funding was difficult to obtain, 
unless the proposed study was on a 'good' species (so in a sense it was unfortunate that 
'A. flexile 1 was no longer that!). As a corollary to this example, the morphological concept 
was also weakened where two or more entities looked very similar, but were in fact 
different 'cryptic' species, examples being given in the genera Polypodium in Britain, and 
Botrychium in North America. Because there are relatively few fern species in Britain, and 
because spores can travel great distances, we have no narrow endemics here. 
Speciation can occur in several ways. Primary speciation occurs where lineages diverge 
through isolation, either geographical or ecological. An example of the former process in 
action was given. The ferns Dryopteris azorica (Azores), D. maderensis (Madeira) and 
D. intermedia (North America) are closely related, to the extent that the first two are considered 
by some to be subspecies of D. intermedia. Another difficulty occurs in the Diphasiastmm 
complex, where apparently well defined species interbreed to produce fertile offspring, 
suggesting that only a single species may in fact be involved. Here the ecological separation 
that has allowed these taxa to diverge breaks down in certain situations. Fern speciation is, 
however, more often the result of a more rapid process of change and reproductive isolation. 
that which includes polyploidy alone (autopolyploids), or in combination with hybridisation 
(allopolyploidy). New species formed in this way may be morphologically very similar to their 
descendants, posing difficulties for identification. Fred showed slides of the two well known 
Guernsey endemic hybrids Asplenium x microdon {A. scolopendrium x A. obovatum subsp. 
kmceolatum) and A. x sarniense {A. adiantum-nignim x A. obovatum subsp. lanceolatum) to 
demonstrate the clear morphological difference from the parents in the former, and the close 
morphological similarity with the parents in the latter. This secondary speciation is occurring 
in most fern groups, including the most taxonomically difficult such as the Asplenium 
trichomanes complex. Although these entities look morphologically similar, their populations 
are divergent and they cannot interbreed, therefore they must be considered as distinct 
species. Fred gave us an excellent flavour of the issues involved in answering the question 
posed in the title of his talk, but stopped short of providing the definitive answer! 
The lunch break provided the opportunity for members to peruse the books and 
merchandise tables, where Bryan Smith displayed some tempting new BPS ranges of 
clothing, cards and mugs. Then followed the AGM, which is minuted elsewhere. 
Following the AGM, Jennifer Ide showed a few slides of the fern dell at Brodsworth Hall in 
Yorkshire. This is where the fern collection of the late Eric Baker now resides, and 
Jennifer's shots well illustrated the layout of this attractive garden feature. 
Members then had the choice of indulging in 'fern chat', or accompanying Alison to the 
herbarium. The first part of this visit was to see Sir Hans Sloane's Herbarium, the founding 
Museum collection. Here we inspected an example of Phlebodim 

species Josephine had used to illustrate her talk, it v 
specimen was over 300 years old. This herbarium i 
herbarium sheets are 

horizontally in attractive wooden cabinets. The collection also includes other Moane 
artefacts, such as the 'vegetable lamb of Tartary' (the rhizome of Cibotium barometz). We 
then moved to the Cryptogamic Herbarium, where Alison had on display fern herbarium 
sheets, many of which had been used to illustrate her talk. She gave an informal account of 
various aspects of the herbarium, including the work required when genera are revised, how 
one learns to interpret abbreviations, the herbarium index and the spirit collection. 
So ended a highly enjoyable day, 'engineered' by Alison, Fred and Josephine. As well as 
preparing and presenting their respective talks so wonderfully, they also performed all the 
groundwork and logistics to provide such a well run and memorable day. Thank you all! 


Graham Ackers (a.m.) & Pat Acock (p.m.) 

For some time it had been our intention to hold an indoor meeting centred around one of the 
BPS Special Interest Groups, and this was the first one. The Tree-Fern SIG was started 
nearly ten years ago by Martin Rickard and has been run in recent years by Alastair 

Martin Rickard gave the first presentation: 'Tree-ferns of 
temperate lands'. Martin has had wide experience of growing tree-ferns in temperate lands 
(i.e. England!), so clearly the talk was angled at relating the wild growing localities and 
conditions with actual and potential cultivation viability. A tree-fern world location map 
was shown (from 1975 Fern Gazette 11: 74), indicating their pronounced southern 
hemisphere distribution (and also showing that most tree-ferns are in fact tropical). Martin 
then went on to show slides and discuss tree-fern species from many lands, with special 
emphasis on those occurring in cold(ish) and/or high altitude locations. Wild plants were 
shown from Nevis, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia (various 
localities), New Zealand and Hawaii, and locations with cultivated plant's included Madeira, 
Australia, Glasgow, County Kerry, Hereford and London (Chiswick). 
The enticing title of Chris Page's talk was 'Why be a tree-fern?' He described the 
advantages and disadvantages of the structure and growth patterns of tree-ferns. In order to 
colonise, tree-ferns require large virgin disturbance sites such as can result from landslides, 
tire etc. Such events do not happen very often, but when they do, spores can start to 
germinate and grow very quickly, particularly as tree-ferns are edaphic generalists in terms 
ot substrate requirements. The characteristic tree-fern architecture of a large, high-placed 
crown reflects this ability to develop quickly. This enables the plant initially to outstrip 
competitors in speed of growth to maintain access to light, and indeed many tree-fern 
species are adapted to conditions of high light intensity (compared with other fern groups). 
The high-placed crown also allows the effective distribution ol < P <„v,. are produced 
in very high numbers in tree-ferns, and may be broadcast for each plant over a period of 
several hundred years. But not all is 'good news', as tree-ferns have some disadvantages too. 
For example, compared with other ferns, then energy investment is high in making the trunk, 
and they are space-demanding, winch is not so good in a hiehlv comoetitive environment. 
An interesting link to Martin Rickard's talk was the thought 
fern distribution could have resulted from the higher tecto. 
more disturbance sites. Northern hemisphere sites with such , 

climates for tree-ferns - e.g. too dry in the Mediterranean and too cold in the Atlas Mountains. 
The title of Alastair Wardlaw's talk 'A gardener's view of tree-fern taxonomy' perhaps 
field botantaZ taS '™'°" W " h some as P ects of tree-fern identification - for example, a 
on Isf^V? Wh J Ch COmay he/she is in (hopefully!), bu, a gardener buys tree-ferns 
" ^nencefhT T b ~ d '" PM " S,nlCture -d location of sori, difficulties can 
So 2 J " T Pr ° dUCeS Sp0res - T* im P°»»"co of scales and hairs for 
his „irt,,~7f • a " d oomonstrated in Alastair's talk. Particularly interesting 

produced W If an ° U , S 1 . tree " fern ^ ,ransferred 10 M>* paper. Since regional floras 
d fficul toLT"? b0,an ' S,S rare ' y COm P ared sP-ies to those in other areas, it was 

circumscri«i„ n > u '" tlK ""> mi| ch larger ecus < yathea in it- -lumped 

(B.J. Hoshtzak, & R.c. Moran, 2001) includes pinna outlines of 

Dicksonia antarctica and D. fibrosa 

conservation dimension to the talk was introduced by highlighting the plight of such species 

as D. arborescens, an endemic of St Helena where it occurs as a very restricted population 

(and it is incidentally the type species of the genus). 

Following a generous lunch break when we were able to discuss matters pteridological with 

members new and old, we had a diverse and interesting members' slide-show contmuinu the 

Jennifer Ide mainly showed tree-ferns 
some time she has been interested in the wo 

Alan Ogden regaled us with his exploits of tracking down Cyathea weatherbyana, the 
endemic tree-fern of the near desert-like region of the Galapagos Islands. Me found it high 

Doryopteris. He then showed slides of the BPS south-west Ireland trip in May, where many 

tree-ferns were caught on camera with a number of the members. 

Christine Mullins showed us slides of New Zealand tree-ferns and posed an interesting 

question when showing slides of Cyathea smithii right up close to a glacier: 'Why can't we 

grow them here if they live so close to the ice in New Zealand?' 

Chris Page is both a trustee of Penjerrick Gardens and a director of Trebah Gardens [ hese 

two coastal gardens in the extreme south-west of England benefit from the warm Gulf 

Stream. Both gardens are famous for their tree-ferns, mainly but not exclusively Dicksonia 

antarctica. Some of the plants are probably 200 years old, the trunks having been brought 

back in the 1820s as ballast in the days of the clipper trade with Australia. Even some that 

have self-sown are in excess of 60 years of age. 

ted this section with an interesting collection of tree-ferns: Cyathea 
rip to New Guinea, Blechnum nudum from Martin Rickard's Chelsea 

Flower Show exhibit and a wonderful picture of his own Dicksonia c 

winter absolutely covered in snow, followed by a summer p 

Bob Johns next gave us a fascinating lecture 

Guinea'. After describing the size and montane 

through the phytogeographic regions. The 

greatest number of species is found in the 

montane tropical forest. New Guinea is 

probably the centre of diversity of Cyathea, 

having over 130 species, most of which are 

endemic. The true number of species may be 

very much larger, since collections have been 

collections have yet to be identified. In 
seemingly connected valleys one tree-fern 
may inhabit one valley and another species 
the next. Problems of cultivating the 
subalpine and alpine species of tree-ferns 
were discussed. In the wild they experience 
wide daily fluctuations in temperature, 
e.g. -5°C to +5°C. Quite complex artificial 
regimes may be necessary to keep these 
plants alive outside their natural habitat. Bob 

; exception of Cyathea 

I CITES (Conv. 

i International Trade in Endangered Species) and other legislation designed to p 
or the rights of the country of origin was in 
s difficult to obtain material of different species of ti 


ferns'. He showed us how the earliest land plants such as Cooksonia evolved v 

space of time to give larger descendants of which some started to grow upwards to exploit 

the advantages that size gave. The problems of recognising tree-ferns in the fossil record 

were outlined and the advantages of finding anatomically preserved stems stressed. The 

range of fossil remains of tree-ferns was reviewed from the Palaeozoic to the present day, 

including much new work published in the last few years. Two types of stem anatomy are 

known to have evolved several times in different families of ferns. The < 

from the Carboniferous onwards), the Osmundaceae (that were largest in the Permian), the 
Cyatheaceae and the Dicksoniaceae. The other stem type (such as in some new 
Carboniferous petrified stems and in the Mesozoic Tempskya, although none are known 
today) was actually a series of interwoven stems and, like the other type, covered in a dense, 
supporting root mantle. Although rather different, both forms were strong and flexible. 
Visually, though, the two stem types were rather different. The commoner tree-ferns, that 
we all know, have a crown of fronds, but the others grew leaves along the lengths of their 
t know enough about tree-fern evolution yet, but Barry 
! our knowledge of it. 

In his talk 'Tree-ferns growing outside in Britain', Alastair Wardlaw reported that tree-ferns 
have been grown in Britain since at least 1786. Only one, however, according to the The New 
Atlas of the British and Irish Flora (2002) has become established in the wild, and that is 
Dtcksoma antarctica. Although the limit of latitude in which tree-ferns grow in the southern 
hemisphere is equivalent to the middle of France, in gardening we do not have the same 
constraints since we are not hostage to the prothallus stage and can even 'avoid' the early years 
of the sporeling's growth. As early as 1872, Arthur Smee was describing his cultivation in both 
pots and in open ground in London and this was at the time immediately before the Thames 
troze over in many winters. Alastair went on to describe a number of experiments that he had 
carried out to protect his plants in the Glasgow region. He hac 
inside and outside his various coverings as well as in the crowns of the plants a 
these temperatures in the light of any damage to the plants the following year. 
A general discussion then ensued on the dav'* n«w**«„ M .„».«, ~—i m was made about ti 

I guests and were in turn i 


of the day, which is quite a large fraction c 



Moonwort Survey, North York Moors National Park - 24 May Barry Wright 

In keeping with our previous moonwort surveys in the North York Moors National Park. 

armed with 

i before, we 

I [Boirvi. hium lunaria) and 

1 (Ophioglossum vulga(um). However, this year I had also requested 

Park ecologist, Rona Charles, on the 

during our 2003 survey. Within the area we had covered so far, a number of records 
required verification. One of these was very close to the Danby Lodge visitor centre 
itself at 45/72700.08500 and was soon confirmed at a triangular junction of roads on a 
steep sloping hillside at 250m altitude. We also studied the road running eastwards from 

colonies of both moonwort and adder's tongue on both sides of the road. Interestingly, 
there were places where both species were growing very close together and almost 
certainly had their root systems intermingled. 

From here we went up on to Beacon Hill to another North York Moors National Park record 
site at 45/73100.09800. We searched in the vicinity of this location and found no moonwort 
spikes at all. However, some of our search team did record it further north at 
45/73017.09899 at an altitude of 270m and also, one eagle-eyed member found adder's 
tongue at 45/73347.09482. That took care of two of the records from the North York Moors 
National Park. We then returned to our original starting point of two years ago, the 
bridleway junction on Glaisdale Rigg at 45/72969.02854. This is almost becoming an 
annual pilgrimage for our group. Here we saw the usual extensive colonies of moonwort 

realised that we were not going to get away without a good soaking from the variable 
northern weather. Just as we got out of the cars to look at the moonwort the heavens 
opened, and as soon as we got back in, it stopped. Typical! 

work in the morning, especially as the road ahead was blocked because of bridge repairs in 
progress. We had to backtrack all the way round to the Lion Inn (44/67870.99693) on the 
Hutton-le-Hole to Castleton road. In this way, we seemed to avoid the rain and were able to 

After lunch we all dispersed to do our 'sections'. This extended survey work started in 2002 

and looked at new areas that seemed likely habitats. The general impression was that the 

abundance of moonwort and adder's tongue spikes was generally less than in previous years 

and also that many of the spikes were relatively small, making life unusually difficult for 

the recorders. Some areas that seemed to be very promising were 

of emergent spikes. This begs the question as to whether or not 

time of year or whether the 'organic mowing machines' (sheep!) 

had beaten us to it. 

Another of the North York 

45/69994.01902 but, de 

One of the more productive sections of road searched > 

45/67630.00560, although the best areas were abo^ 

44/68650.96760. There 

: North York Moors 

I had a chance encounter whilst driving across the moor tops between Leyburn and Grinton 
in Wensleydale and Swaledale respectively, when I was pleasantly surprised to find that, 
stopping at a typical moonwort site on the roadside, this species was indeed present. This 
set me thinking that it might be worth switching our attention to doing some surveys in the 
Pennine Dales using this road as a starting point. However, a number of our newer recruits 
to the group are quite keen to continue the work in the North York Moors National Park as 
well, and we may continue monitoring both areas over the next few years. So, if anyone 
wishes to dust off their 1960s anorak and would like to join us in 2004 then we can 

Chee Dale, Derbyshire - 14 June Paul Ruston 

Thirteen of us set off on a bright and cheery morning to complete what we began on our 
2002 visit to this area. This did mean having to pass along part of the way previously seen, 
species to those listed then, notably 
of the station platform, and Polystichum 
setiferum, Dryopteris affinis subspp. affinis, borreri and 'morphotype insolens' growing in 
the steep and craggy wooded environs of the River Wye. Our progress, in uncharted country, 
alternated between the river and the Monsal Trail (formally the Manchester to London line), 
giving us a typical selection of calcicolous ferns on the cliffs and railway cuttings, for 
example Gymnoi arpium robertianum, Cystopterisfragilis, Polypodium vulgare, P. inter jectum, 
Polystichum aculeatum, Asplenium ruta-muraria, A. viride and A. trichomams subsp. 
quadrivalens. A. scolopendrium was plentiful, occupying moist and shady areas. Enthusiasm 
over some very unusual Cystopterisfragilis with extremely enlarged and distorted pinnae 
was dampened when it was decided that this effect was the result of a fungal infection. An 
homanes subsp. pachyrachis-type plant was seen nestling in a sheltered part 
of the rock-face (43/122728). It was about half a metre above the surface of the river and 
displayed fronds 20cm in length and pinnae up to 1cm long with crenately lobed margins. 
Samples were sent by Ken Trewren to The Natural History Museum (NHM) for verification 
of taxonomic status. When I returned at a later date to collect fresh material for the NHM I 
noticed, just a few metres distant, a second plant with fronds around 5cm long. The minute 
and overlapping lobed pinnae were extremely congested with sori; sample specimens of this 
were also sent to the Museum. Our morning excursion terminated where a very extensive 
and impressive colony of Gymnocarpium robertianum had colonised the lower areas of 
limestone scree under the crags and cliffs (43/1 16728). We saw here many flowering plants 
of Jacob's ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) and columbine [Aquilegia vulgaris). The higher 
scree supported an abundance of Dryopteris filix-mas. The south side of the valley was 
covered with bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum), making an impressive splash of 
colour in the bright midday sunlight. 

After lunch we took an easy stroll through Tideswell Dale and up into the disused Basalt 
quarry, now a picnic area (not a picnicker in sight) complete with a wood carving of a 
seated man (43/155738). It wasn't long before keen-eyed members found Botrychium 
lunana; though smallish plants, they were plentiful among the milkworts and thyme. A 
perfect single flowering specimen of bee orchid {Ophris apifera) finished cur day - on a 
non-ferny note. But then, who wants to comnlain' 

Loftus, Kilton Beck and Rosecroft Woods, North Yorkshii 

Having suggested this outing at the previous year's ACAI. I wa 
during the course of a reconnaissance of the route a week before the 
footpath had fallen into a state of neglect, being rather o\ergrown I 
and swept away by landslides in at least a dozen places (it was > 
previously visited the area). A phone call to Barry Wright establish 

Five of us met beside the Reformed church in Loftus (45 7 IS1S2) 
The church itself supported one of the highlights of the day a p 
ceterach growing in the mortar of the glazed brick walls around th< 
only two populations of the species in the North York Moors. Th 
reduced from when I had last scon it. due to cleaning of the walls. [- 

From Loftus we walked along the road to the adjacent ullage o\~ I ixerion Mines. 1V0 
where we descended steeply by a series of steps through Cock Shots Wood to kihon Iks 
(45/706179). We passed some fine plants of Polystichum H-iifawn and Drvoptcris afth. 
subsp. borreri on the descent, and also scattered plants ol 7> filix-maa and D. Jihitutu. I pi 
reaching the stream, we followed the path a short distance upstream, where there is a we 
known stand of Equisetum hvemale - the second highlight of the day. This stand clothes tl 

square metres. Only five colonies of the species are known from the North York Moors, b 
all of thee 

From this point we followed the footpath upstream for about three kilometres, through 
Mains Wood and Mill Balk Wood, at times crossing steep muddy slopes where the path had 
been swept away and pushing through overhanging brambles. In places, the fertility of the 
soil was indicated by the fact that the nettles were head-high. When we finally reached the 
road, the two brave (or foolish?) participants who were wearing shorts complained that their 
legs were 'tingling a bit', although, surprisingly, they seemed to have plenty of skin left! 
Along the way we had seen Athyrium filix-femina, Blechnum spicant, Dryoptens affinis 
subsp. affinis, Equisetum telmateia, Asplenium scolopendrium, Polypodium vulgare, 
P. interjection, Pteridium aquilinum, and more plants of Polystichum setiferum, Dryopteris 
affinis subsp. borreri, D. filix-mas and D. dilatata. Some of the colonies of Equisetum 
telmateia were magnificent and there were some particularly large plants of D. affinis 
subspp. affinis and borreri and four large plants of the hybrid D. x complexa nothosubsp. 
complexa (these having been confirmed by their abortive spores after the earlier 
reconnaissance). Most of the plants of D. affinis subsp. borreri were of the 'normal' type, but 
there were also a few of 'morphotype insolens', and a taxon that is common in the North York 
Moors that I have provisionally called i foliosum\ 

The woods are also rich in the gametophyte stage of Trichomanes speciosum, and we 
inspected one large patch in a dark crevice in sandstone close to the footpath. There are 
many other colonies on rock-faces and under boulders throughout the wood, which has not 
yet been fully surveyed to determine whether or not sporophytes occur. 
Just before reaching the road we came across a sign in the middle of the footpath, facing the 
other way, which read 'footpath closed'! 

We followed the road through the village of Liverton, to Rosecroft Wood (45/717173), 
through which we followed a well-maintained track back to Loftus. Along the roadside we 
saw populations of Equisetum arvense and occasional plants of Dryopteris filix-mas. In 
Rosecroft Wood there were Athyrium filix-femina, Dryopteris dilatata, D. filix-mas, 
Pteridium aquilinum, and a particularly fine stand of Equisetum telmateia. There were also 
a few plants of a distinctive form of D. affinis subsp. borreri, and one plant that looked a 
'dead cert.' for D. x complexa nothosubsp. critica, but which turned out to have mainly 
good spores. 


Muker, Swaledale, North Yorkshire - 9 August Brian Byrne 

At the height of the record-breaking summer heat wave, ten members gathered in Keld 
(35/892010) to walk the spectacularly scenic section of the Pennine Way to Muker, and 
after lunch return to Keld on the riverside track, which with diversions was an estimated 
seven or eight miles. Out of Keld our route skirted the steeply wooded slopes of the gorge 
high above Kisdon Force on our left, with limestone cliffs on our right, that were 
surprisingly sparse in ferns, though at one spot small numbers of Asplenium viride, 
A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens, A. ruta-muraria and Cystopteris fragilis were found. 
Climbing gently, the path led us through a very extensive belt of Pteridium aquilinum, 
which fortunately for us was not shedding spores. In the occasional breaks in this blanket of 
bracken, thriving colonies of Athyrium filix-femina and Oreopteris limbosperma were seen. 
After we eventually emerged from the bracken, and still climbing, we began to encounter 
small pockets of scree, one of which had a single isolated plant of Dryopteris submomana, 
waTT ST* ' reCCe ' ten days ear,ier and ref °«nd to within one metre with my new 
WAAS-enabled (error-correcting) GPS receiver! This plant was 124m inside the 'NY' (35) 
100km square. The main colony of Dryopteris submontana was only a short distance away 

Further on was a more extensive area of fern-rich natural limestone scree, which members 
fanned out across, finding (ivmnin oi-pium robertianum, Asplenium scolopcndrium. 
Palystichum aculcatwn. more A. viridc. Cv^topwri.s fragilis, etc. 

For some distance now we had been effectneK walking the 400m contour with superb 
views of Upper Swaledale. At the next stile I pointed out the three large well-defined beds 
of Equisetum x dycei and other horsetail-rich areas across the river and 1 50m below us, 
which we would examine after lunch. Before moving on we briefly looked at some 
inaccessible polypodies on the cliff above us, at least one of which through binoculars «;is 
considered to be possibly Polypod'nun vamhr'u um u ith its u ider fronds, pointed pinnae and 
some fronds just expanding. But as we couldn't prove this we walked on. With the 
temperature now very high and no shade or respite in sight, our thoughts must have 
collectively been homing in on the prospect of the pub, drink, lunch and rest out of the 
unremitting ferocious glare of the sun, as we paid scant regard to a particularly promising 
ferny site with some excellent plants of Polystichum </i ulcutum and some very large 
Dryopteris specimens well before we started the steep decent into Muker. Reaching the 
village we noted Dryopteris dilatata and P. liUx-mas outside the \iearage and paused just 
long enough to confirm Polypodium vulgare at eye level on a wall by the dark brown annuli 
on the sporangia, before arriving with relief at the pub. 


0"j i 

Paul Ruston, 1 

:h, with the temperature still rising, eight of us set off to examine the horsetails. 
:sting ones were essentially concentrated into a half-mile stretch on the east side of 
and very close to the stony track to Keld. Equisetum palustre generally 
ated and in the wetter areas various polystachion forms were readily found. 
? and E. jluviatile were also present in small scattered colonies as were two of the 

three possible hybrids between these three horsetails, E. x dycei and E. x litorale. But the 
star attraction here was the three large wet beds where E. x dycei was totally and 
unambiguously the dominant vegetation, the area of effectively pure E. x dycei being 
approximately 1,500 square metres. It is clearly not of recent origin at this site, and in the 
ten years since I found it I've concluded that it has to be of some considerable antiquitv. 
The amazing variability in the branching was noted 
demonstrate the differences 
bending) breaking strength t 

it the going was easy enough until 
we reached Swinnergill, where we examined a very severely drought-affected small colony 
of Asplenium ceterach on the trackside wall. From this point we felt a close bond with the 
colony as most of us had by now consumed all the liauid we had cm 

ith frequent stops, but we made it! The ledges on the 
Chff at Beld. Hill (35/90201 1) supported a colony of Dryopteris submontana that was out of 
reach of grazing animals, and those at eye level were ideal for photography or for close 
oi the entire plant. From here it was mostly downhill to Keld, but we were in no 
state to look at the ferny areas in the vicinity of the bridge over the river. With enormous relief 
and totally exhausted, we reached Keld to find the square full of Paramedics and Mountain 
Rescue teams. Thankfully we had not needed help from these e 

'Fern Day' - Londesborough Cross, Shiptonthorpe, North Yorkshire - 30 August 

Barry Wright 

At the suggestion of local group member Sylvia Medd, she and I decided to put on a Fern Day 
for our group and also for any of the visitors that Sylvia has to her 'Yellow Book' garden 
openings. Sylvia is a particularly enthusiastic and accomplished grower of ferns and has an 
extensive collection in her beautifully laid out garden. This includes a large stumpery under the 
tt 7u m b ° rderS and a shade - h0 ^. She propagates ferns for sale at the open 

E^tTl^ 8 many V1S,t ° rS t8kin8 advantage 0f the varieties that she is a ° le to offer - We 
ootn telt that there is an increasing interest in fern culture and that many of her visitors, as well 

TrnnT! ~ "^f^ ""^ benefit from a w °rkshop dedicated to the culture and 
propagation of ferns in the garden. We elected to run the half-day session split between a tour 
1 ^1 ^ ^T At * e £nd ° f the d ^ we also offered for »le ferns from both of 
our gardens Although we had to make an entry charge to cover costs we were able to make a 
dona ion to local group funds. We provided two booklets, one on the se.ect.on of ferns for 
situations in the garden and one on the different techniques of fern propagation. 

£££ ¥£1^??** ShC haS a ,arge <™*** ^ «• —ally used for 
s. We estimated that this might, at a pinch, 
fits and this was cosy enough for those that 
uld have the marquee sides open. 

tour of Sylvia's fem coll 

viding the group intc 

At the end, the hoard of locusts descended on the sales benches and went ■ 

Tl^Z^ZT they knew where to *-* ^^" : 

is seemed to be a successful day, with many positive c 

local group members and others that attended. We are considering holding the same event 
next year and advertising to a different group of people such as local garden clubs and 
horticultural colleges. My thanks to Sylvia for all the extra work she had putting up the 
marquee and preparing for the day. I just turned up and wandered around a bit talking about 

Ken Trewren devised this Polypodium day but in the event was unavoidably ; 
business, so Barry Wright, with Ken's notes in hand, too 
Clapham car park (34/745692) and started by exploring t 
relatively slow start as a we were waiting for some late arrivals as a result of the closure of 
the A65 at Hellifield. Road closures have been a bit of a problem this year! By the side of 
the beck and along the adjacent roadside walls were a number of Polypodium inter/a mm 
colonies. Further up the village, the churchyard walls were mostly adorned by P. vulgare. 
Asplenium trichomanes subsp. qiuulrh ulcus was also common. 

We paid the small toll charge to enter the grounds of the Ingleborough Estate (once the home 
of plant hunter and explorer Reginald Fairer) and followed the scenic track through woodland 
alongside Clapdale Lake (34/748695), and passed the Ingleborough Show Cave. Less basic 
soils along the lakeside were indicated by the presence of Pteridium aquilinum, Athyrium filix- 
femina and Dryopteris dilatata, and the D.fdlx-mas was gradually replaced by the more robust 

high, arched man-made shelter. Cystopteris fragilis appeared here, along with Asplenium 

beyond the show cave we looked hopeful !; tides around a bubbling tufa 

flush (34/75471 1), but could only find a few 'tatty' specimens of Equi 

The dry valley turned westwards to enter the confines of the impressive li 

Trow Gill (34/755716). Along the southern side and above the crags v 

Polypodium cambhcum, accompanied by a few P. vulgare. The path climbs to the top of 

the gorge and on a slightly higher limestone outcrop some Asplenium viride were spotted. 

With lunch-time almost upon us, we had to make a quick march back down to Clapham, but 

made time to admire the thriving Asplenium ceterach along the walls in the village by the 

Ingleborough Estate offices. 

It took half an hour to drive along the narrow, winding dales roads into Malham to continue 

the next part of Ken's itinerary. A few less in number now, we managed to squeeze into one 

car and park at Gordale Bridge. Our destination was the rocky dry valley nearly one 

kilometre to the west (34/907637). A number of polypodies were encountered here, some 

being rather puzzling. One healthy clump on the east side of the valley was identified as 

but other colonies high up on the v 
greater interest was one clump with strong P. cambricum 
facing limestone crag, athletically reached by Barry courtesy c 

A microscope check on the above specimens was carried out late 

Trow Gill P. cambricum showed the presence of paraphyses, but 

immature for any more analysis. The other Gordale polypodies were generally sterile with 

shrivelled sporangia and misshapen unripe spores; the number of indurated cells varied widely 

from 8-14 and basal cells 1-2 - so the hybrid P. x mantoniae was suggested, however, the 

abundant paraphyses and lack of P. vulgare in the area are more indicative of P. x shivasiae. 

All in all, it had been a most interesting Polypodiu 

Dartford Area, Kent - 28 June Pat Acock 

We met our host for the day Jack Hubert and his daughter Kate at Shorne Wood Country 
Park (51/684699) between Gravesend and Rochester. The woods are predominantly on the 
poorer soils of the Blackheath Beds and Thanet Sands but there is some leaching of 
minerals from the higher Upper Chalk. The wood had an interesting ecology, although the 
number of species of ferns was small. However, we were able to show one or two of our 
newer members the differences between Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata and 
filix-femina and were able to test them later with the same species. 

After lunch at the Wheatsheaf and a visit by a few 'anoraks' to look at the new Channel 
Tunnel Link over the old Gravesend West Branch Line, we moved on to Beacon Wood 
Country Park (51/593716). Here the Wealden Clay had been removed through the last two 
industry. On the poorer soils below, as at Shorne Woods, an 
" moss dominated the central section. However, the 
structures had been colonised by Polypodium interjectum and 
Asplenium scolopendrium, and Equisetum arvense put in an appearance in the wetter area. 
Living so close to the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Jack had taken an interest in the planting 
up of the periphery. Bluewater was built in a huge abandoned chalk quarry. This was our 
next port of call, as to Jack's great surprise they had chosen to plant swathes of ferns among 
the other plants. On a dry chalk bank had been planted a mass of Th lypt, ris oalustris. B 
was alive. One can only speculate on whether or not it will remain so and colonise further 
Beyond this was a mass of Polystichum munitum and then various groups of varieties of 
Polystichum setiferum, Dryopteris filix-mas and D. affinis. Among them were a few 
Blechnum spicanu which did not look happy. The greatest groupings were of Osmunda 
regahs and Polystichum munitum. We will have tc 
become established, especially as they have had the 
spring and have been planted on top of chalk. 

^•i°T d i° ffthe d T ay ' JaCk ' S W ' fe ' Joan ' had P re P are d a superb cream tea, which we enjoyed 
I ' t^ 1 "?, "i Ck ' S f£mS ar0Und the § arden and "nder his slatted shading. Under the 

Karen Munyard, Kate Hubert, Pat Acock, Jennifer Ide, Rosemary Poi 
Ken Hill, Steve Munyard & Peter Clare in Jack Hubert's garden 

Winchelsea and Hastings, East Sussex - 12 July Mark Border 

:d (several members were delayed by a major accident on the 
A21) at the wall just south of the church (51/905174), examining the colony ofAsptenhm 
ceterach - the most easterly known. The recent hot weather had caused a number of the 
plants to curl up, but several of the more shaded were still 'open'. We then moved into the 
church grounds, primarily to see the A. trn honnuus subsp. (///,;<// iwiL>i\. Steve Munyard. 
our leader, was able to show the distinguishing features o\ this subspecies. Growing with 
these plants were A. ruta-muraria, A. scolopendrium and A adkmtum-mgnan. The wall 

Unfortunately, the site of the hybrid P. xshivasiae is now in private hands. 

From Winchelsea a sizable convoy moved to the outskirts of Hastings (51/850 1 -W). to see 

the adder' s-tongue, Ophioglossum vulgatum. In spite of it being rather late in the year, a 

number of plants were found crow under very dense herbage. All the 

plants were very etiolated, but two had produced fertile fronds. Quite what the many 

passing drivers on this main road out of Hastings were making of us all on our hands and 

knees, peering into the hedgerow, is anyone's guess! 

Our next stop was Rotherview Nursery (51/828137), 

new delivery of ferns. Woodsia obtusa was probably the most 

we also cleaned out their entire stock of Matteuccia orientaiis - large plants, a couple with 

a Lunathyrium growing as a weed in the pot, one of which is now planted out in my garden 

- thanks to Steve for spotting them. 

Lunch was next on the agenda, many of the group having 

Our first task here was to try to re-find the Oreoptehs i 
found some years earlier. Sadly, the original plants had been lost to "path improvements', a 
few years ago. Unfortunately no further plants were found. As we followed the path down 
the valley many plants of Asplenium scolopendrium nan were seen. 

The aspleniums showed much variation in frond width and undulation although not as much 
as can be seen in the next glen. A large plant of a stunted P. setiferum was spotted, which 
caused much discussion as to whether it was a variety or the result of insect damage. 
Several similarly stunted young plants were also found in the vicinity, which moved most 
people to conclude 'variety'. Other pteridophytes seen included Equisetum telmateia, Athyrium 
filix-femina, many Dryopteris dilatata, surprisingly few D. fdix-mas and D. affinis and a 
couple of small Blechnum spicant. Pteridium aquilinum covers large areas of these glens. 
The day concluded with a visit to Steve and Karen's home for refreshments and a tour 
round their ever-changing but always fascinating garden. For anyone who has not yet been 
fortunate enough to visit, it is a true plantsman's garden. Some of the newer members were 
able to see at first hand the differences between Polystichum setiferum and P. aculeatum 
and between Dryopteris dilatata and D. carthusiana, hopefully before they were too 
overawed by the rest of the collection. 

Several members had to leave the garden early, which was unfortunate as it meant they 
missed one of the highlights of the day, the now almost traditional evening refreshments; 
again Karen managed to keep to the very high standards enjoyed at previous visits. Several 

: bags - purely to give him 

I with Steve's usual skill and topped off with Karen's 

After giving us an initial description of the area, Peter led us through Whortlebury Wood to 
Birch Wood (51/570433). Here we were able to remind newer members of the characters of 
the most common British ferns, as we saw Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata and Athyrium 
fillx-femina. Then came the problems. We found Dryopteris affinis subsp. borreri. Amongst 
the plants were some very large ones that had a lot of the characters of the afore-mentioned 
but also some of the characters of D. affinis subsp. affinis. Much c 

Tim Pyner, Andrew Leonard, Paul Ripley, Peter Clare & Steve Munyard 
examine Dryopteris affinis on Southborough Common 

We left Birch Wood and headed back via some splendid high weald scenery to the main 
wooded area of Southborough Common, Whortleberry Wood (51/574428). Here we saw 
Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata and Athyrium filix-femina. Whilst circumnavigating the 
wood we found patches of Equisetum arvense, E.fluviatile and E. telmateia. Still further 
into the wood we found a solitary plant of Osmunda regalis and also of Polystichum 
setiferum. The latter was precariously situated low down on the stream bank. 
Following varied lunch-time arrangements (it really was wonderful to be sitting so 
comfortably outside in mid October), we reassembled on the east side of the common to 

walk along the ridge to s 
(51/581428) above 'Hilly Fields'. 

s of/ J selifennn in Coneyburrow i 

Retracing our steps, we went on to Brokes Wood (51/590425) with kind f 

the owner, Mr P. Marshall, who was using it as a nature reserve. Hei 

see P. setiferum but also one specimen of P. aculeatum. Near the lake 

specimen of Equisetum arvense with many secondary branches was seen 

north of the lake one plant only of Dryopr, ri.\ . anlius uui. In the northen 

lake stretching out into the water we were able to confirm a large stand c 

flux ttile, ^peculated upon from the other side a few minutes earlier. Further large 

specimens of Dryopteris affinis were observed as we made our way to Peter's house in 

Southborough to enjoy the ferns in his garden over a superb cream tea laid on by Gill 


The slide-show included Tenerife by Andrew Leo 
Tenerife by Paul Ripley, and slides of the newly f 
couple of Cuba from Tim Pyner. 


Indoor Meeting, Little Thurlow, Suffolk - 26 January Marie Winder 

Ten members and friends gathered at the home of Mary Hilton to hear another of our 
members, Mary Ghullam, tell us about her recent visit to Australia, where she worked at 
a research centre on Kangaroo Island, Australia's third largest island, about 150km long. 
She told us how her adventures started on arrival at Adelaide where she had time to visit 
the Botanic Garden before flying on to Kangaroo Island. She became so engrossed in the 
ferns in the fern house that she failed to realise it had been locked and that the botanic 
garden itself was in the process of being locked up for the night. She and another 
'prisoner' were eventually rescued and able to return to the airport in time to catch their 

The research centre was a camp, set in Eucalyptus scrub, run by an organisation called 
Earthwatch, which was not only interested in the local ecology but also in sustainable 
living with as little adverse effect on the environment as practicable. Water was a 

as Little Thurlow! Mary was assigned to work on short-beaked spiny anteaters 
(echidna), which were very elusive, emerging from their burrows at night and difficult 

monitor lizard, Rosenberg's guana. Mary concluded the Australian part of her talk with 
slides, some showing magnificent tree-ferns in Victoria, and maps, photos and various 

six-day tour of Tasmania, starting from Hobart, that she made 
. She showed pictures of tree-ferns, some with filmy ferns growing 
; Blechnum, and sea spleenwort growing near a former penal colony. We 
: the impression that Tasmania was not preserving its forests as they would like us to 
ieve, as Mary said she had seen trainloads of forest timber. 

1 3 1 

On her way back from Tasmania she visited Melbourne's botanic garden. In the fern gully 
they have considerable trouble with flying foxes; their droppings pose a health hazard and 
are killing the ferns. Mary was so engrossed in the ferns and their problems, that she again 

Her talks provided a 

it into Australia and Tasmania, their 
very wary when visiting ferny areas of botanic gardens! 

Holt Lowes and East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk - 17 May Barrie Stevenson 

Simon Harrap, a Trustee of Holt Lowes, met us at the car park (63/083375) and gave 
us a brief history of the site, a Registered Common since 1810 and an SSSI since 
1953. From the car park he led us along a wide pathway through mixed woodland 
where we found Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata and Pteridium aquilinum. We 
shortly arrived at Holt Lowes, an open, shallow valley, spring-fed and constantly 
boggy, the excess water draining into the River Glaven. The site is a mixed mire, 
both acid and alkaline conditions existing in close proximity, resulting in a rich and 

At the edge of the bog we immediately found a good stand of Thelypteris palustris 
growing with round-leaved sundew and cottongrass. Equisetum palustre occurred in 
less water-logged areas, as did Athyrium filix-femina, while heath milkwort, with 
flowers from deepest blue to palest pink, scrambled across grassy tussocks. The site 
supports a large tally of mosses, with 17 types of Sphagnum alone having been found 
here. We were pleased to find Hookeria lucens beside a trickling streamlet, a rarity for 
the east of England. The first discovery of this moss by W.J. Hooker was at this site in 
1807. We found Equisetum sylvaticum, its only site in East Anglia, and at the edge of 
the woodland and on marshy slopes occurred E. x litorale, previously unrecorded in 
Norfolk. E. arvense and several specimens of Blechnum spicant grew in the shade of 

We then drove to the Old Vicarage, East Ruston, a superb garden set in flat and 
featureless farmland only one and a half miles from the north-east Norfolk coast. The 
garden, begun in 1988, has been ingeniously designed and is enclosed by belts of trees 
that act as protective windbreaks. The interior is divided into enclosed gardens and 
alleys by means of hedges and walls. These, together with excavated and raised areas, 
have achieved total protection against strong winds from the sea, the proximity of 
which results in shorter, less severe frosts in winter. At the edge of the car park we 
found Equisetum hyemale subsp. qffine and, moving towards the Old Vicarage itself, 
we found the main area of ferny interest, a sheltered, shady site to the north of the 
house. Here were plantings of Blechnum cordatum, Cyrtomium fortunei, Onoclea 
sensibilis and Polystichum munitum, as well as Dryopteris linearis and cultivars of 
Asplenium scolopendrium. The outstanding group of well established Dicksonia 

■ growth kept ( 

, result of a 

that carried water behind each plant from below ground to the 

The vast, varied spaces of the garden, the names of which only hint at their plantings 
(for instance Exotic Garden, Mediterranean Garden, New Zealand Garden and the 
Cahfornian Border and Desert Wash) make this a very special garden; an excellent visit 

Cambridge Botanic Garden, and Honeysuckle and Willow Cottages, ( : owlinge. 
Suffolk - 22 June ( .eof fn> \N indi r 

It was a pleasant Sunday morning when seven members and friends met at the entrance to 
Cambridge Botanic Garden, the venue of two recent BPS annual general meetings. The plan 
was to explore the Garden, particularly the ferny parts, and then to have a look at the 
various ferns growing in the glasshouses. Of course, at this time of year ferns and other 
plants are much more luxuriant than in March, the month when the AGMs were held. 
The path from the entrance led past a stream, along which grew Matteuccia itntiMopteris, 
into an area of woodland and bog gardens, the latter bordering a lake. Ferns seen included 
several forms of Dryoptehs affinis, Athyrium filix-femina and Polystichum setifemm. There 
were several impressive stands of the great horsetail, Equisetum telmateia in moister areas, 
also Onoclea sensibilis and Osmunda regalis growing at the edge of the water. To the east 
of the lake were limestone rock gardens with narrow shady ginnels, the walls rich in shade- 
loving plants including ferns. In the more open areas grew ferns such as Polystichum 
setifemm, Dryopteris filix-mas, Asplenium scolopendrhim and Phegopteris conncctilis and. 
of course, a plethora of flowering plants including the broom-like Ephedra. 
Growing in the mortar of the outside of the brick base of the first glasshouse was 
Polypodium vulgare sensu stricto, and nearby, in the mortar and neighbouring soil, various 
Asplenium scolopendrium. Ferns in the cooler glasshouses included 
oblongifolium, Polystichum setifemm, P. prolifemm, Nephrolepis cordifolia 
punctilobula, Blechnum chilense (now sometimes referred to as B. cordatum, but labelled 
Blechnum magnamicum [sic] presumably in error for B. magellamcum with which it is 
often confused) and Psilotum nudum. Interestingly several wood anemones were growing in 
full sunlight on the glasshouse bench. Ferns in the warmer houses included Cyathea sp.. 
Cibotium glaucum, Aglaomorpha coronans, Acrostichum sp., Davallia pentaphvllu. 
Microsomm punctatum, Aglaomorpha (Merinthosoms) drynarioides (growing on tree 
roots), Adiantum hispidulum and Lygodium microphyllum (growing on a wall and a little 
worse for wear). 

Behind the main glasshouses, a few Dicksonia antarctica in pots outside the door, was a 
fern house. In it were pots of D. squarrosa, Dennstaedtia bipinnata, Nephrolepis exaltata 
'Whitmanii', Adiantum raddianum 'Waltonii', Woodwardia orientalis and W. radicans. Filmy 
ferns were represented by Trichomonas speciosum, its variety cambricum, and Leptopteris 
hymenophylloides, the crepe fern from New Zealand looking rather like a small tree-fern. 
In the afternoon we drove to Cowlinge in Suffolk. Nearing the village, we stopped in a lane 
to look at the flora of the wide verges that have never been treated with herbicide; in the 
past cattle were grazed there but more recently a single cut for hay has been taken each 
summer. No ferns, but they were rich in flowers such as the ox-eye daisy and various 
vetches and grasses including Briza media. A single specimen of the relatively rare sulphur 
clover (Trifolium ochroleucon) was found. 

Finally we visited two cottage gardens in the village - the first a delightful sheltered garden 
belonging to Pam and Tony Couch, much of it developed from land that had become 
overgrown. The garden, quite large and with plenty of shrubs, bushes and medium-sized 
trees to provide shade and shelter, seems ideal for the many ferns being planted there - if 
there is enough moisture. The second garden, that of Barrie and Rosemary Stevenson, is 
smaller, but well planted with an interesting collection of established shrubs and small trees 
providing shelter for each other and for more delicate or herbaceous plants. Ferns are 
abundant and Barrie's collection includes interesting varieties of Polystichum setifemm and 
Athyrium filix-femina. Barrie is particularly interested in cristate and similar forms. A feast 
provided by Rosemary completed a full and interesting day. 

Kersey's Farm, Mendlesham, Suffolk - 26 July 

We gathered in a barn beside the house where we found a display of literature, and 
welcome refreshments provided by Margo. Here Anthony treated us to an introductory talk, 
illustrated with his own slides supplemented by some taken by Howard Rice to accompany 
an article on Equisetum for the RHS journal The Garden. Anthony's inevitable opening 
remark concerned the reaction of the general public when confronted with his Collection at 
shows: "Why do you collect them? I'm trying to get rid of mine!" In fact, Anthony's 
contention is that though Equisetum arvense is a troublesome weed, most horsetails are little 
trouble in the garden. However, popular gardening programmes on television appear to have 
no common policy. Chris Beardshaw recommended E. x bowmanii for a junior school garden, 
while film of the RHS garden at Rosemoor showed staff waging war against all horsetails. 
Anthony's own interest in Equisetum began as a result of seeing a particularly fine stand of 
E. telmateia. Today's horsetails are of ancient lineage and the structure of modern plants is 
little changed from the 30-metre tall specimens dating from the Triassic period. 
Horsetail rhizomes can penetrate three to five metres and are therefore able to draw water 
from subsoil although top growth is apparently in dry ground. Top growth dies back as a 
result of frost but spores are produced and may be grown in the same manner as fern spores. 
However, Equisetum spores are viable for only a few days and should be sown as soon as 
possible after production. They must have moisture and sunlight to achieve germination. 
Hybrids are quite common in the wild, but produce no good spores. 

Some horsetails are becoming popular as garden plants, and Anthony mentioned 
particularly E. sylvaticum, E.hyemale subsp. affine, E. scirpoides, E.ramosissimum, 
E. vanegatum subsp. alaskanum and E. x bowmanii. Enlightened Victorian gardeners grew 
Equisetum and Anthony quoted Shirley Hibberd, who in The Fern Garden (8th Edition, 
1879) wrote of Equisetum: '7 have all the species that are known and one of them I 
consider the most elegant of all plants ever seen upon the face of the earth. This gem is 
called Equisetum sylvaticum." 

Anthony grows his collection in pots standing in trays of water. They are equally 

sunshine or shade. His potting mixture consists of equal parts of loam, sand and a 

substance, with the addition of a little pure clay that provides free sil 

from sections of rhizome that have at least one visible bud at the node. 

We took the opportunity not only to visit the Equisetum Collection but also to view 

Anthony's fine collection of ferns, containing many species besides the inevitable variations 

of Dryopteris affinis. 

Our thanks go to Anthony and Margo for hosting a most enjoyable visit, with particular 

mention of Margo's splendid refreshments and her kindness in producing copies of a family 

recipe for her particularly delicious fruit cake. 

End of Season Meeting, Barrow, Suffolk - 2 November Barrie Stevenson 

At the time of writing we are still able to look forward to our final meeting of 2003. Making 
our annual visit to the home and garden of Marie and Geoffrey Winder, we shall be able to 
view slides and photographs of the past season's visits. There will be a display of Victorian 
New Zealand fern albums and associated reference books, and a video and CD-Rom of New- 
Zealand ferns. The meeting will conclude with a bring-and-buy fern sale and the 
coi n p an of our traditional splendid end-of-s< 


Pre-season Meeting, Kendal Museum, Cumbria - 8 March Frances Haigh 

Kendal Museum (34/518932), founded in 1796, holds good collections of flora and fauna, 
both local and global. Included are several fern collections and it was to view these that 23 
members met for a pre-season meeting. 

The herbaria we examined, compiled by Clowes, Barnes, Martindale, Stabler and Pinder 
in the mid to late 19th century, were mainly of specimens found in the Lake District or 
around Kendal, especially from the limestone districts. However, a few foreign examples 
were included. Apparently enthusiasts enjoyed swapping their duplicates to build up 
their folders. Amongst the specimens, some of which had become quite fragile with age, 
were many varieties of 'Polvstichum angulare' (= P. setiferum). Such variation is rarely 
found nowadays in the wild. Fern enthusiasts were also avid collectors! There were 
commit* on the sheets that some ferns, e.g. Asplenium septentrionale from Borrowdale, 
viride was suffering in some places 'due to 
x alternifolium) from Scafell was 

were becoming rare 

depredation'. A specimen of "A. germar 

included and that fern is oossiblv now extinct in the Lake District. With the many 


dndly supplied by the museum, the natural history curator, Mrs Carol 
Davies gave us a conducted tour of the stockrooms behind the public galleries. Here was a 
cramped surreal mixture of animal heads swathed in plastic, cases of exotic birds and 
drawers and cupboards full of specimens. 

Whilst having lunch at a nearby pub we decided to change the afternoon's plans. The 
constant heavy and cold rain discouraged us from walking in nearby woods looking at 
winter-green ferns and we opted instead to spend the afternoon viewing the rest of the 


museum. This was most entertaining and informative and I can recommend a visit to Kendal 
Museum if you are in the area. 

Very many thanks to Carol Davies for welcoming us and showing us around. 

Heysham LNR, Heysham Head and Thrang Moss, Lancashire - 7 June 

Roy Copson 

This field meeting began within Heysham LNR (34/407599) close to Heysham Power 
Station. Thanks to a partnership between British Energy and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, 
the reserve has evolved in both its biodiversity and the range of habitats it provides for 
wildlife since the construction of the Power Station. As a result of this it is now a County 
Biological Heritage Site. 

The first location we visited at the reserve was an area of damp willow/hawthorn scrub at 
the base of a bracken-covered embankment in which there was a fine colony of 
Ophiogtossum vulgatum, its primitive appearance being discussed by members of the 
group. This fern is uncommon in North Lancashire, there being less than ten known sites 
in the area. Other species present were Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata, Equisetum 
arvense, and Equisetum Jluviatile, which was emergent in the marsh and open water of 

hrom the reserve we travelled to Heysham Head (34/408609), which belongs to the 
National Trust. We walked along the beach from Half Moon Bay to a cavern at the base 
of the cliffs. Here, in profusion, was sea spleenwort, Asplenium marinum, the cavern 
providing all the conditions necessary for its proliferation and continued survival. On the 
cliff edge above the sea spleenwort was another coastal species, royal fern (Osmunda 
regalis), but smaller than others I have seen further inland around Morecambe Bay. Also 
sharing this precipitous location were Dryopteris filix-mas and Athyriumfilix-femina. 
After a picnic lunch at Heysham LNR and a short journey we arrived at Thrang Moss 
(34/497765) in Silverdale. Due to the kindness of the landowner, Mr Simon Temple, 

areas. The main attraction was the hybrid Dryopteris x deweveri and its parents 
D. carthusiana and D. dilatata. These were colonising a clear-felled area of wet 
woodland, offering a rare opportunity to study this trio of ferns in North Lancashire. 
There was some heated discussion amongst us as well as wet feet. Continuing along the 
ride we observed Equisetum palustre as we walked towards the northern end of the 
moss where we entered deciduous woodland over limestone. This was out-cropping 
frequently, providing anchorage for yew trees (Taxus baccata). Between the yews, 

floor, there was the evergreen 

Polystichum setiferum and some dog's mercury (Mercurialis perennis) growing where 
humus had accumulated between the limestone rocks. Close by on the eastern edge of 
the wood Leighton Beck follows a fracture in the limestone providing suitable habitat 
for hart's tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) and hard shield fern (Polystichum 
aculeatum), which punctuated the steep rocky sides on both sides of the beck. The 
faded remains of bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), primrose (Primula vulgaris) 
and herb pans (Paris quadrifolia), indicated that this was a woodland of some 

The diversit 1 

E pteridophytes we s 

i interesting > 

Moughton, nr. Austwick, Ingleton, North Yorkshire - 5 July Franks Hai»h 

After meeting at Austwick (34/769686) on a mild but overcast day, fourteen members 
shared transport to finally park on Crummack Lane at 34/772706. The scars of Moughton 
were clearly visible, though the first three kilometres of the walk was along a narrow walled 
track. Here the underlying rocks are Silurian slates and grits and the ferns we passed 
reflected ti i- ! ...y/c^ Jilatata. // t'llix-nuis. Bluhimm spuaiu. 

Oreoptehs Umbosperma and However, scant attention was paid to 

these plants - we were anticipating the delights to come. After crossing Austwick Beck 
with its attractive slab footbridge and turning north, we were able to view a clear 
example of unconformity where the horizontal strata of the limestone cap of Moughton 
overlie the older, nearly vertical, Silurian rocks. Just before the final climb a few fronds 
of Phegopteris connectilis poked out from the bottom of the wall and the wet area around 
a spring yielded Equisetum arvense. On reaching the limestone our first stop was for 
lunch before we became too engrossed in the ferns. 

North-West Group by Polystichm 

: & John Grue, Harvey Shepherd, Sue Sykes, 1 
Robert Sykes, Denise Copson. Alison F.\ans 

! Thomson {head only). 

Moughton 1 

: outside the Ingleborough National Nature 

Reserve and 

composed of large areas of broken clints with some pavement containing deeper grykes and 
supporting large amounts of juniper. It didn't take long for our list of ferns to grow: 
Asplenium scolopendrium, A. trichomanes subsp. quadrivalent, A. viride (including a fine 
forked specimen), Cystopteris fragilis, Gymnocarpium robertianum, Dryopteris 
submontana and Asplenium ruta-muraria were all plentiful. We also counted nine plants of 
Polystichum lonchitis, which had been our main objective and which we thought was very 
encouraging but I later heard that one BPS member (not present that day) has counted 76 in 
that area during his own private searches! Several plants of P. aculeatum were also seen, 
showing the characteristic yellow-green fronds it has when it grows on limestone. 

Then the group decided to split up. The adventurous ones went over the top of the hill to 
descend steeply down to the valley, and were rewarded by finding Selaginella selaginoides 
and also Primula fahnosa in a wet area as well as some Dryopteris affmis. The rest of us 
mple of Asplenium ceterach 
; Blechnum spicant in peaty areas 

The two groups met up for further refreshments at the footbridge, where a shrivelled frond 
of Polypodium interjectum was found. But where was the plant it came from? From there it 
was only a short walk back to the cars to go our own ways after a pleasant day's ferning. 

Holme Crag, Witherslack and Humphrey Head, Cumbria - 26 July 

Jack Garstang 

With another warm, sunny day in prospect, just driving to this meet was a real pleasure. 
After turning off the A590 for Witherslack, the first stone wall was covered with hundreds 
of Asplenium ceterach. Another mile or so of Dryopteris filix-mas, D.affinis, 
A. scolopendrium, Polypodium and Pteridium aquilinum brought us to Holme Crag 
(34/423837), the idyllic home and garden of Jack Watson. 

iter Valley, the garden covers over four acres of mixed 
i large pond, bog, flower-beds and shrubbery. It is just a 
few metres above sea-level and, although five kilometres inland from the shores of 
Morecambe Bay, the surrounding fields are subject to occasional tidal flooding due to water 
backing up the River Winster. Jack opens the garden to visitors 365 days of the year. 
Seventeen members attended. 

The pond fringes were home to several crowns of Osmunda regalis and lots of Equisetum 
fluviatile and E. arvense, while the steep rocky area provided many fine colonies of 
Asplenium scolopendrium Undulatum Group, A. adiantum-nigrum, Polypodium interjectum, 
Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris filix-mas, Athyrium filix-femina and Phegoptens connechhs. 
A delightful small stumpery by the house was covered with Polystichum setiferum 
'Divisilobum' and Asplenium scolopendrium Crispum Group. Along the woodland paths 
were Polystichum setiferum 'Plumosum Bevis', Athyrium filix-femina 'Frizelliae', 
Asplenium scolopendrium Laceratum Group, Adiantum pedatum and a scorched Dicksonia 
antarctica that had lost out against the hot weather. 

A short drive through Grange-over-Sands and Kents Bank took us down onto the beach for 
lunch at the foot of Humphrey Head (34/390740), a mile-long limestone uplift straight out 
of the sands of Morecambe Bay. It runs north to south with the west face rising to 53 metres 
(170 feet). Ferning at Humphrey Head does require some confidence at heights, and in this 

of the cliff are home to extensive colonies of southern polypody {Polypodium cambricum), 
with Polystichum setiferum among the sheltered wooded areas. Given the high exposure and 
summer drought, which was delaying any new growth of the P. cambricum, it was only by 
collecting old fronds and counting the number of basal and indurated cells of the annulus of 
old sporangia that we were able to arrive at a positive confirmation. 
Two beautiful locations and marvellous weather made this a perfect meet. 
Blea Moss, Cumbria - 13 September Mike Porter 

On a perfect autumn day, 13 members met at the Blea Tarn National Trust car park 
(35/296043), situated on the narrow, twisting road between Great and Little Langdale. The 
plant conservation organisation Plantlife had intended to carry out a survey of Lycopodiella 

was confirmed by the discovery 

bridge by which we i 

north of the original colonies. From here < 

lantity until the main colony was reached. The i 
attempting to count the number of fruiting spikes but by a 
observation and estimation we reached a total of about 3,600. 

Further south, by the sheepfold, the other original colony held about 1,300 fruiting spikes. 
More new colonies were discovered as we progressed south, most of them small bill 
apparently healthy, and we were especially pleased to find small numbers on the west side 
of the beck where none had been reported before. The final count was 6,200 fruiting spikes 
over an area about 300 metres long by up to 50 metres broad. Almost all the plants were 
growing in the less wet areas, some even in cracks in the rocks but we were agreed that in a 
normal year the whole site would be frequently 'inundated'. Associated species included 
the uncommon - but here abundant - Drosera intermedia (oblong-leaved sundew). 
Rhynchospora alba (white beak sedge) and the moss Campy/opus atrovirem. On the east 
side of the site was abundant Juniperus communis (juniper) while Huperzia selago was 
thinly scattered over the whole site. The counting, noting of grid references and careful 
searching for further plants had taken several hours and we were glad to walk back along 

participants for their hard \ 

stroll through the woods by Blea Tarn, noting a small 

North-West Group at Blea Tarn, Langdale 

Barry Colville, John Defferton, John Grue, Bruce Brown, Mike Porter, Melville Thomson, 
Ann Haskins, David Nelson 

AGM, Holehird, Windermere, Cumbria - 1 1 October Robert Sykes 

Our last meeting of the season is always a good day. Admittedly we slip in an AGM, but we 
also have a plant sale, competitions and good speakers. 

In the morning Trevor Piearce and Ruth Berry spoke about fern prints. Trevor gave an 
account of the history and techniques of nature-printing, starting with cavemen, throug 
Henry Bradbury, to the reduced copies of Jones' Nature Prints at the back of Druery s 
British Ferns and their Varieties (1910). He brought examples both of the books and of the 
use of direct impressions of ferns in pottery and an elegant occasional table. Ku 
demonstrated techniques of inking fern fronds and printing direct onto paper. She is a 
superb photographer and had some wonderful black and white prints obtained by placing 
fronds on a light box and exploiting the translucent quality of the fronds. 
In the afternoon Simon Webb of English Nature gave a wide-ranging talk on limestone 
pavements. He explained the history and geology of pavements, the various habitats they 
yield and their ecology and botany, including the ferns, the threats they face and the 
problems of management. Simon was involved in the survey for the local Limestone 
Pavements Orders and he knows his pavements, and gave a compelling account with 
numerous and excellent slides. 

The standard of the entries for the potted fern competition was extremely high. Michael 
Hayward won the hardy fern class with a fine Polypodium cambricum 'Richard Kayse', an 
Robert Crawford the indoor fern class with a variety of Hypolepis (an unexpected by- 
product from a sowing of tree-fern spores). Trevor Piearce won the fern word puzzle. 


Botany is very much like detective work: solid, steady 

right books and asking the right people, can lead to a 

sleuth is Rose Murphy. Not sati: 

fragilis from river banks of the River Camel at Polbrock (20/06 and 20 07). a site firs! 

discovered in 2000 by Matt Stribley, Rose gathered information to prove that it was in fact 

not C. fragilis, but a species completely new to Britain! 

The clues were there the habitat was not right for C. fragilis, the fern was grow ing in \ er> 

humid conditions on a seasonally inundated riverbank, and the pinna veins ended in the 

u-shaped depressions rather than at the tips. When looked at under a microscope, the mature 

spores appeared to be slightly different to those of C. fragilis. On consulting a few fern 

experts the material was named as C. diaphana, which in Europe is only recorded in the 

most humid habitats on shady, mildly basic rocks in southern and south-western zones of 

Corsica, France, Italy, Portugal, Sicily, Spain and in the Azores. After further investigation 

by Natural History Museum staff il 

there since the last Ice Age! 

Luck also plays a part in pla dipity once again struck 1 

Ian found Gymnocarpium dryopteris in woodland beside the River Innv near I aneast 
(20/2283), not seen in Cornwall since 1930, and a second recent site for marsh tern 
{Thelypteris palustris), in a boggy area near Morwenstow (21/2014), both in last 
Cornwall. Old records for Gymnocarpium dryopteris include Minster Wood near 
Boscastle (20/08), near Truro (10/84) and Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor (20/17). 
Although many botanists had searched suitable habitats at these localities it had eluded 
discovery, but as the fern is rather small and dies down in the autumn, it may have been 
overlooked. Thelypteris palustris had been recorded in 20/21 in the past but the old 
locality cannot be found, either in the Cornwall or Devon part of that square. With the 
discovery of the site at Morwenstow it is hoped that searches in suitable habitats in all 
the known old sites in Cornwall may prove fruitful. Also present at the Laneast site on a 
roadbank was Polystichum aculeatum as well as P. setiferum and several ferns found 
nearby were confirmed as P. x bicknellii by Rose Murphy; these large plants were 
showing hybrid vigour. 

i during the latter part of 2002 
;low is a summary of all these 

St Nectan's Glen (20/0788) and Minster Wood (20/1090) - 5 October 2002 

The visit to St Nectan's Glen (20/0788) and St Nectan's Kieve (20/0888) just to the east 
of Tintagel, the part of Cornwall that most visitors associate with King Arthur, took 
place on a lovely autumn morning. One of the aims of the visit was to refind Cystoptens 
fragilis. It was first recorded during a BPS meeting in 1969 at the head of St Nectan's 
Glen. Bridget Graham saw a plant in Rocky Valley near here, but it could not be refound 
in 1973. With recent discoveries of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense in shaded valleys away 
from the granite areas in Cornwall, there was a possibility that the site may also have this 
species. The valley is short and particularly steep, with a small stream running a short 
distance to the sea through the wonderfully scenic Rocky Valley. A short way up the 
valley small overhangs of rock were searched for the gametophyte of Trichomanes 
speciosum. This has been found in a few places in Cornwall away from the one native 
sporophyte population. The exact site details of the sporophyte population must remain 
restricted. One small patch of the gametophyte was found and under a strong lens (x20) 
the filaments and gemmae were seen. 

St Nectan's Kieve, Cornwall - 5 October 2002 

e Keating, Claire Roper, Mary Atkinson, Ian Bennallick & John Whiteway 

■tthyrium tilix-fcmimi. Ihroptcri.s filix- 
leads you eventually away from the 
Lieve, a waterfall and plunge pool as 

The place does have a 

Following the path through luxuriant stands . 
mas, D. dilatata and Asplenium scolopendri 
stream to the tourist entrance to St Nectan' 

dramatic as Cornwall has to offer. Inevitably, with King Arthur and mysticis 

this natura feature has been turned into a paying tourist attraction. After crossing the 
owner s palm with our £1 coins we took the steps down the side of the valley. Although 
me sides oi the cliff surrounding the waterfall were well covered with mosses and 
liverworts, neither of the targeted fern sp< 
magical quality and many others must 
have also agreed; the small offerings of 
mementoes, personal pictures and candles 
placed around the dripping slopes bear 
testament to the mystical strength of the 
place. However, the group still felt that it 
was just a waterfall! Walking further 
upstream along a footpath to Tredole 
Farm (20/0989), Dryopteris aemula was 
found in abundance along the stream- 
bank, also Sibthorpia europaea (Cornish 
moneywort) with which it often grows. 

Hymenophyllum tunbrigense at Minster 

Wood, near Boscastle, Cornwall - 

5 October 2002 

In the afternoon the group visited Minster Wood (20/1090) and Peter's Wood (20 1 1«*» 
just to the east of Boscastle. These woods had an old record for Gymnocarpwm dryopteris 
and although suitable places were searched it could not be found. The known population of 
Uum tunbrigense in Minster Wood just downstream from Minster Church was 
located and a super picture of a frond was taken by Matt Stribley. 

Saltash - 

The final field meeting of 2002 also concentrated on ferns and the group was very lucky to 
be joined by Dr Chris Page. Members met at Saltash railway station (20/4358) in pouring 
rain, with the intention of finding out if Polypodium cambricum was more widespread in 
the area. The south-east of Cornwall, especially around the lower parts of the Tamar 
estuary, is known to have a few populations of the fern. Before leaving the station it was 
seen on adjacent walls, and also in the nearby village of Forder (20/4158). The ram relented 
during the morning, and a visit to Cargreen (20/4362), situated on the western bank of the 
River Tamar north of Saltash, also proved successful. P. cambricum was found in 
abundance on walls in the village, and a very large specimen, growing beside a wall next to 
the Crooked Spaniards Inn, puzzled Chris. 

After a welcome lunch at the pub, the afternoon was spent at St Dominick (20 4068), w bete 
historical records had been made of Polystichum aculeatum, a rare fern in Cornwall. 
Without a prior visit, a small lane north of St Dominick was chosen from the map as a 
suitable place to search, but hopes of finding the species were low. However, and somewhat 
amazingly, at the end of the lane Mary Atkinson found a fine specimen 00 the bank No 
other plants could be seen, but further searches could prove successful. Although the light 
was failing, a small group walked to Boar's Bridge (20/4168), hoping to see some last 
fronds of Oreopteris Iimbosperma, which was seen on the roadside bank by Paul Green in 
2001, but the road bank had been trimmed so no fronds were found. However, a visit by 
two members in 2003 located many plants further towards Cotehele. 
Indoor meeting, Fraddon - 7 December 2002 

The final meeting of 2002 was held at Fraddon Village Hall in mid-Comwall and acted as 
an end-of-year get together for local botanists, a chance to reflect on the finds of the year 
and to discuss meetings and workshops for 2003. Tim Dingle, Matt Stribley and Ken 
Preston-Mafham showed some excellent slides and digital pictures of flora and places not 
just from Cornwall but world-wide. Colin French demonstrated an updated version oi the 
Flora of Cornwall CD-ROM and Rosemary Parslow brought some wonderful photos of the 
Isles of Scilly. Paul Green brought a display on Potypodmm cambru urn in Co. watenora, 
where it grows very large and luxuriantly, and Mary Atkinson brought a mystery grass for 
the rest of us to identify. Chris Page also brought news of a very fern ^d- he had 
only recently found the very rare hybrid Asplenium xjacksonn on a wall on a farm in West 
Cornwall. A brilliant find to end an eventful year. 
BSBI Local Change strategy meeting - 12 March 2003 

The first meeting of 2003 took place partly indoors and partly outdoors. The BSBI Local 
Change survey was discussed and part of the day was a trial session recording in one of the 
tetrads chosen to see how many species could be recorded and how the recording for the 
next two years of the survey would be best organised. The area chosen was Bishop's Wood 
(10/8248)" north of Truro. The usual common ferns such asAthynum M-* 
Dryopteris filix-mas and D. dilatata were seen but of note was the number of Blechnum 
spicant plants within an old fort now covered with Betula pubescens (downy birch). In the 
bottom of the valley in the wetter areas some Osmunda regalis was found and on a rock 
outcrop Hymenophyllum tunbrigense, refound at the site only a few years before, was 
located but was suffering from the lack of rain and moisture. 

Polruan (20/15) - 5 April 

s (10/75) - 26 April 

i permission from the MOD) to look for 
. Being rather sparse for fern species, the 
of Cornwall's two sites for 
: in the dune-slack vegetation, the distinctive 
i spotted. Old records of Ophioglossum vulgatum exist for a small 
I called Mount's Field (10/7857) but time ran out before the area 
! searched. One member visited the area after the meeting but none were found. The 
area will be searched for this species in 2004. 
Lizard (10/61, 10/71) -1 May 

This meeting was held in conjunction with ERCCIS (Environmental Records Centre for 
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) and targeted the rare lichens of the Lizard. Bryan Edwards 
guided us around Kynance Cove (10/6813) and showed the members present the many rare 
species of lichen to be found. Inevitably with all the members on hands and knees searching 
for rare lichens, Isoetes histrix was found at the British Village slope. This is surprisingly 
widespread in suitable habitats and in recent years had still been showing well into June. 
However, the dry April had meant that many were yellowing quickly. 
BSBI AGM and Anglo-Hiberno-French meeting - 8-12 May 
Cornwall played host to the BSBI AGM, with a long weekend of seminars, meetings and 
field trips attended by over 100 delegates from western Europe. 

On Friday morning, representatives of the Botanical Cornwall Group showed the majority of 
those attending around a reclaimed china clay tip, Caerloggas Downs (20/0156), recently restored 
to heathland. Although it was only four years since soil and vegetation had been transferred 
from a neighbouring area of heathland that was about to be dumped upon, heathland vegetation 
was quickly establishing on the quartz sand spoil. Around the edges of the tip Pteridium 
aquilinum was already spreading and in places Blechnum spicant and Dryopteris dilatata were 
quickly becoming established with other heathland species such as Calluna vulgaris (ling), 
Erica cinerea (bell heather) and Agrostis curtisii (bristle-bent). Although not seen on the day, 
Oreopteris limbosperma, a species with restricted occurrence in Cornwall as it favours the 
granite moorland areas, was searched for. This fern has been increasingly recorded in damp 
areas associated with china clay waste tips and pits. Plenty of suitable habitat occurs around 
Caerloggas Downs and it is hoped that further surveying will find it colonising suitable places. 
Sunday was devoted to Cornwall's botanical jewel in the crown - a day trip to the Lizard, 
with two circular walks based at Kynance Cove (10/6813) and Lizard Village (10/7012). As 
on the 1st May trip, Isoetes histrix was found in turfy spots and around serpentine outcrops 
and Pilularia globulifera was discovered doing very well in a ditch between fields inland 
from Kynance Cliff. This species is a member of the 'puddle gang', a group of plants that 
grow in the ephemeral puddles and pools that are found on trackways and in fields on the 
Lizard peninsula, more usually in the heathland areas. Other members of the 'puddle gang' 
include the Nationally Rare Ranunculus tripartitus (three-lobed water-crowfoot), Cicendia 
filiformis (yellow centuary), Chara fragifera (strawberry stonewort), Juncus pygmaeus 
(pigmy rush) and Mentha pulegium (pennyroyal). The requirements and distribution of 
these six species are currently being investigated by Plantlife to establish exactly how their 
populations can be maintained. Osmunda regalis was found in the small valley north of the 
Kynance car park and Asplenium obovatum subsp. lanceolatum was found by some on the 
roadside wall to Lizard Lighthouse (10/7031 17). 

A few delegates travelling back on Monday opted to visit the Eden Project while others 
explored Par Beach (20/0853), a well known site for many rarities. Chris Page pointed out 
some fine specimens of Polypodium interjection on a low cliff and spotted Asplenium 

Isles of Scilly- 6-9 June 

Nine members travelled to the largest island, St Mary's, on Friday morning to spend the 
weekend helping Rosemary Parslow, the BSBI recorder for the islands, with the BSBI local 
survey. Saturday was spent recording around part of the island; Asplenium 
i subsp. lanceolatum was found in crevices on the granite walls and most of the 
s of fern were seen. 

truly wonderful island of St Agnes, an island wild and tame at the 
er Wingletang Down (00/8807), Rosemary showed us where 
d be found earlier in the year, and in the same spin 
present in the short turf. 
Drannack (10/5936) and Tregadjack (10/4933) - 12 July 

This meeting concentrated on arable plants, although arable and bulb fields were visited. A 
damp field at Bezurrel (10/5936), which had been drained and used as a bulb field, was 
overrun with Equisetum arvense and E. palustre. Further down the valley in a damp corner 
of a field E. jluviatile was added to the list. 

Tredwen Barton (20/1785) and Greena Moor (20/2395) - 19 July 
No ferns of note were seen except Dryopteris aemula on a ditch-side at Greena Moor. 
Bude (21/20) - 9 August 

This day concentrated on the willows that are found along the Bude Canal, with the expert 
Desmond Meikle demonstrating the various species and hybrids. As to fern interest, 
Asplenium ruta-muraria was found on a bridge at St Anne's Hill (21/2104) and Equisetum 
palustre, E. jluviatile and E. arvense along the canal. 
Upper Tamar Lake (21/2811) and Lower Tamar Lake - 16 August 
A very low Upper Tamar Lake with much exposed mud enabled the group to walk around 
the whole perimeter with ease. Apart from Equisetum palustre, E. jluviatile and E. arvense 
around the edges no pteridophytes of note were seen. Lower Tamar Lake had been kept full 
for the anglers and again no ferns of note were seen. 
Draynes Wood and Golitha Falls (20/2268) - 11 October 

This meeting was arranged with Mark Pool, the British Bryological Society recorder for 
Devon to introduce the group to woodland mosses and liverworts. A good range of 
bryophytes were seen in woodland and around the rocky falls on the Fowey River, and huge 
patches of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense swathed the north-facing rock-faces with 
Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris dilatata and Athyrium filix-femma luxuriant in the woodland. 
Many thanks to all those who have helped the group this year but special thanks goes to 
Rose Murphy who continues to inspire us! 
Meetings organised for 2004 will again cover a 
in places all over Cornwall. Recording and a 
and it is hoped that two or three of the events will concentr 
identification of a specific group. If you would like 
included in future Botanical Cornwall Group newsletters, found on the websit, or contact Ian Bennallick for further details. Looking forward t 
seeing you in Cornwall! 


The Rhins of Galloway - 14-15 June Frank McGavigan 

In south-west Scotland, almost completely surrounded by sea and warmed by the Gulf 
Stream, the Rhins of Galloway is climatically the most favoured part of Scotland. With frost 
a rarity, the only worry is the prevailing sea breeze, which can become gale force at times. 
Logan Botanic Garden (25/097428), situated towards the southern end in a natural hollow 
and further protected by a shelter belt of trees, can grow a wide range of exotic plants that 
would not survive in most other parts of the UK. 

It was to see Logan's collection of ferns that six of us (Tim Godfrey, Frank Katzer, Frank 
McGavigan, Heather McHaffie, John Munion and Alastair Wardlaw) gathered together for 
a weekend in June. In gloriously warm sunshine we were shown round by Barry Unwin, the 
Curator, whose pride and joy are his tree-ferns - Cyathea dealbata, C. australis, Dicksonia 
fibrosa, D. squarrosa, and a veritable forest of D. antarctica. I doubt if there are so many 
D. antarctica in one place anywhere else in Britain. Barry has plans to build a viewing 
platform so that visitors can look down on his latest tree-fern grove. For now you have to 
look up, as the original dicksonias were planted at least 150 years ago and are now of 
considerable height (one had Pyrrosia rupestris clambering up its trunk). With our eyes 
back on the ground we could spot young self-sown sporeling D. antarctica - Barry showed 
us a shady mossy wall that could only be described as a tree-fern nursery. Not many of us 
can boast D. antarctica as a fern weed. Barry pots them up and sells them to visitors. He 
doubts if many survive their first year away from Logan. 

Whereas the garden is obviously a 'must visit' for members of the Tree-Fern Special 
Interest Group, there is also a wide range of other ferns to attract the more 'terrestrial' 
pteridologist. Two blechnums stood out - Blechnum chilense (labelled B. tabulare but I'm 
not going to get into that argument), used extensively as ground cover and looking fabulous 
with warm brown new fronds that had just unfurled when we were there, and B. novae- 
zelandiae with apple-green new fronds contrasting dramatically with the literally black 
fronds of the previous year. There was a huge clump of Woodwardia radicans with fronds 
six feet long enjoying the added shelter of the walled garden, while W. unigemmata thrived 
happily in the woodland garden. Here too were many - how shall I put it? - more typically 
ferny ferns, notably Lophosoria quadripinnata (guaranteed to make any fern grower 

rosthornii and hosts more. Make the effort and go and see for yourself. 
After the Botanical Garden we visited Logan House Garden next door, where the Head 
Gardener, Jimmy Reid, had promised to take us to another part of the estate to see Osmunda 
regalis in the wild. I won't tell you exactly where because Jimmy said that recently 
someone had been digging up plants and he was, understandably, anxious to keep the site a 
secret. Despite the thefts there were still several clumps of royal fern growing among 
Dryopteris dilatata and D. carthusiana and, of course, bracken. 

Later we visited an old brick works where the shallow edges of the ponds that had once 
been the clay pits were crowded with Equisetum Jluviatile. However, the commonest 
horsetail in the area was Equisetum telmateia; it was everywhere, although not making the 
statuesque height that it reaches in more sheltered localities. 

The following day took us to the Dunskey Estate (25/004554), just north of Portpatrick. 
Here we took a path through a wooded glen down to the sea. Along the path side and under 
the trees grew Athyrium filix-femina, including a red-stiped version, Blechnum spicant, 
Dryopteris filix-mas, D. dilatata and D. affinis subsp. borreri. But the prize of the day was 
still to come for down by the sea the cliffs were studded with Asplenium marinum sprouting 

face. Then we walked along the cliff top to Portpatrick for a 
a sandwich before making our way by a shortcut back to the 
!. adiantum-nigrum growing in the 

Inverarnan, Glen Falloch and Glen Ogle, West Perthshire - 26 July 

Frank McGavigan 

MacGregor, Heather 

e ground-hugging, almost invisible Lycopodiella immdata (marsh 
>vhile being eaten by midges, is not my idea of fun. But such is the 
i scientific research that this is what we were doing on 26th 
; north end of Loch Lomond (27/317185). First find your plants: the 
acidic wet ground without too much competition. Look for sundew whose 
o spot and there is a good chance you will also find Lycopodiella. Using 
accurately recorded the position of each patch. Distinguishing separate 
i more difficult but we came up with a total of 1,080 (nearly 
double the last survey by RBGE in 1999). On slightly drier ground were lots of spotted 
heath orchid. Andrew found pale butterwort and Heather pointed out bog orchid. As for 
other pteridophytes, there were the usual Pteridium aquilinum, Athyrium filix-femim. 
Blechnum spicant, Dryopteris affinis, a Polypodium out of reach in a tree, and on the 
ground two more clubmosses - Selaginella selaginoides and Huperzia selago. 
We then headed further north to the Falls of Falloch (27/337208), new to us but certainly 
visited by Victorian pteridologists as it is an accessible wooded gorge with some 
spectacular waterfalls. Sure enough the fern flora is rich: Athyrium filix-femina (though no 
fancy varieties). Drvoptcris affinis. D dilatata. Bicchnum spicant, Oreopteris limbosperma, 
and of course bracken and epiphytic polypodies, all as expected. But then Frank Katzer 
found the filmy fern HymenophyUum wilsonii, followed by beech fern, Phegopteris 
connectilis, and a single clump of Polys tic hum aculeatum. The water was too high to cross 
the river and explore the east bank, but this is definitely a site worth another visit. 
Leaving the headwaters of Loch Lomond, we drove along Glen Dochart and down Glen 
Ogle to walk along part of a new cycle way, actually the old railway track. We started 
where it crosses the road near Lochan Larig Cheile (27/558283), soon finding Equisetum 
arveme and E palustre, while in the water was E fluviatik. Then Heather spotted the 
washed up qui] - and probably /. echinospora also, although it is 

difficult to distinguish between the two. All within five minutes of getting out of the car. 
Further down the track Adrian demonstrated that crushing bracken releases cyanide with its 
characteristic almond smell. We had earlier been trying to detect the lemon in lemon- 
scented fern - fruit maybe, but to us not lemon. Cyanide seems appropriate for bracken, but 
can other ferns be detected by smell: an expensive French perfume for lady fern perhaps or 
venison for hart's tongue or even Christmas trees for holly fern? We saw none of these last 
two but we did find Asplenium viride, first in the shady, dripping walls of a railway cutting, 
then in the dry, sunny side of an embankment wall - a truly versatile fern. A. —<• 

arby was ,4. trh 

e of which Heather described as 'fat 
, description. We found beech fern 

but in t: 

again, some tired-looking oak fern, and more Polystichum aculeatum. Why are old rai way 
lines such good hunting grounds for ferns? And this one is easily accessible - on level 
ground, with the cycle track allowing unimpeded walking. Another good day and a highly 
recommended site for any fern lover visiting Scotland -just remember your midge repellent. 

Beinn an Dothaidh, Bridge of Orchy, Argyll - 23 August Andrew MacGregor 

Heather McHaffie and Frank Katzer were joined on a sunny Saturday by me and fellow 
fair-weather pteridologist Jim Mcintosh, together with two local dogs evidently bred for 
both smallness and an adherence to random walkers. 

A quick and sweaty stomp up to our first ferny spot was enlivened for me by Heather's 
tasting notes for the commoner fern species. Mostly awful it seems, but I was impressed by 
something most of us appreciate only with our eves. 

growing somewhat weakly in a flush a 
untidy appearance and the poor state of its teeth that it was possibly E. x mildeanum, the 
hybrid of E sylvaticum and E. pratense. We deliberated the matter for some time, aided by 
some more tidy and toothy E. sylvaticum nearby, before agreeing that Heather's diagnosis 
was definitely plausible. 

ir certitude, we pressed on to our first stop, an imposing outcrop that 
furnished us with a variety of lovely ferns (27/3341). Frank had reached the spot ahead 
of the rest of us and in a jiffy located the lot, including Polystichum lonchitis, Cystopteris 
fragihs, Asplenium viride, A. trichomanes and Woods ia alpina. I would have been 
impressed by Frank's acuity, but my expectations had already been raised by his earlier 
claim that he could see the Woodsia from the car park, some two kilometres away. I realised 
later that he meant the outcrop. Of the Woodsia, we counted 25 crowns, as compared with 
15 on a previous visit in 2001. Whether the difference was due to population expansion, 
more strenuous recording or some combination of the two we left unanswered. The same 
outcrop was also sprouting some robust polypodies that Heather convinced us were 
Polypodium interjectum. In addition, a good selection of clubmosses was strewn around, 
s l 2gLties P ° diUm daVatUm > Huperzia sela ^ Diphasiastrum alpinum and Selaginella 

A scramble up scree turned up abundant Gymnocarpium dryopteris as well as much 
Phegopteris connects and Bleckmm spicant, all rather weather-beaten but otherwise 
happy-bokmg. It also turned up many specimens of Dryopteris oreades and D. expansa, 
most of which we were able to confidently distinguish from the, D. affinis and 
Ddilatata that were also present, despite a near total absence of spores. More problematic, 
distentifbHu ^^^^ ™ eTQ * e occasional specimens of Athyrium that we suspected of being 
The scramble was to take us at last to a remote clump of Cystopteris montana, accessible 
tri Lul 3 T Vert,8in ° US Cl3mber th3t W3S rewarded * * good view of those filigree, 
mangular - but again sporeless - fronds. Subsequent investigation of a nearby gully, aided 
n some cases by binoculars, yielded many further clumps of C. montana, some of which 
ZL7L T u T T? ed PreVi ° USly - Mercifiill y> the ^ were all out of reach of the still- 
molest It 88 .' ?° PreV1 ° USly Sh ° Wn Wi,lln S ^ tVing to chew, paw or otherwise 
muiesi every plant we stopped to inspect. 

t^vTetei'T 6 ' ^ 3nd ^ d ° gS Ch ° Se t0 fol,ow » W hen we reached the bottom, 
One can-net f 'T™* ^^ fr ° m thdr owners at *e farm where we'd parked, 
dear v en^Vr ^ ^^^ 00t after a11 "customed to such expeditions, but was 
ren!rned^ th * ° W ^^^ ° f taSty fems ' Havin § d ^ reunited dogs with humans, we 

S t^T, n T 8 , in , passm8 that the ad J acent rema - ° f A ^ ladair Castle were 

%3£ tKEfit^r- zt Remmding myse,f that rac pr r is : 

proper erub ***' ' reS1Sted the ur § e and drove swiftly home for some 

Isle of Arran - 27 September Frank Meftn ifu 

Despite initial enthusiasm when the idea was first mooted, only four of us managed to 
make the trip to Arran on the day - Heather McHaffie and Grant Fortune from 
Edinburgh, Tim Godfrey who had driven all the way from Skye, and myself although 
nearest, it still took me almost three hours to get there. That's the trouble with islands, 
getting there and back severely cuts into fern viewing time. Next time we'll go for the 

Arran lies to the south of Bute in the Firth of Clyde but is a much larger island and much 
more rugged. Despite what might appear to be inhospitable conditions there are 54 native 
pteridophytes (species, subspecies and hybrids) listed in the Arran Flora. We saw only a 
tiny fraction of these, but partly because we spent the morning looking at exotics in 
Brodick Castle Gardens (26/015379). 

Here Dicksonia antarctica flourishes and spores liberally. Alastair Wardlaw was keen 
for us to investigate how far from the parent plant the sporelings occurred, as he is 
puzzled as to why, if spores are viable in the immediate vicinity, they do not appear to 
germinate in suitable localities further afield. This would have been a major 
requiring far more time than we had. We could only speculate, with Heather's theory 
winning the argument i.e. that the sheer number of spores landing near the parent would 
increase the likelihood of at least some germinating, whereas further away the relative 
paucity of viable spores combined with native competition would dimmish the chances 
of survival to zero. However, as she said, we had not looked elsewhere so there may 
well be sporeling Dicksonia struggling to survive in the undergrowth further away. It 
was interesting that the Brodick gardeners had been making attempts to clear the native 
ferns from around the tree-ferns, presumably in the process increasing the chances ol 
Dicksonia sporeling survival. (They hadn't cleared the bracken plant, which by 
scrambling through a bush had reached a height of at least 12 feet.) 
Other ferns seen at Brodick were Woodwardia radicans, Osmunda japonica 
Microsorum diversifolium (from Australia and New Zealand), some fine specimens ot 
Athyrium filix-femina (Cruciatum Group) - i.e. sporeling 'Victoriae', and a clump of 
that most elegant fern from Central and South America, Lophosoria quadnpmnata 
There are woodland walks where for sure we would have encountered native terns, but 
we did not have time to explore, being distracted by the '33% off plant sale at the 
garden shop. Well, one must have some broad-leaved plants to show up one's ferns to 
their best, mustn't one? 

In the afternoon we took the forest walk from Whiting Bay up to Glenashdale Falls 
(26/024248), which the tourist guidebooks describe as 'ferny'. It certainly is, although 
not exactly species-rich. Dryopteris affinis (probably subsp. affmis) predominated and 
there were some magnificent shuttlecock specimens among the trees. Worth _ a visit just 
to admire the sheer beauty of these alone. D dilatata was also common, with Blechnum 
spicant and occasional Asplenium scolopendrium and quite a number of patches of 
beech fern (Phegopteris connectilis). We were disappointed not to > see Dryoptens 
oemula. It seemed the right kind of habitat - damp shade at low altitude and subject to 
the warming effects of the Atlantic Gulf Stream. Perhaps the steep sides of the glen 
were too well drained. The Gulf Stream also explains why Arran has a number of 
recorded sites for Trichomanes speciosum, the Killarney fern, but their whereabouts are 
a closely guarded secret. 

Group of European Pteridologists (GEP) Excursion 

Gmund, Austrian Alps - 24-28 August Patrick Acock 

Claude Jerome, who organised the first GEP meeting, had kindly agreed to lead us on this 
summer's excursion, having visited the area four times recently. We stayed in Gmund, 
about thirty miles east of Innsbruck and were able to greet a number of old friends. Despite 
the absence of the Spanish contingent, a larger than usual group (27) gathered in the afternoon. 
On the first day we travelled into the neighbouring town of Gerlos and drove as far as we 
could above the north side of the town. Within minutes of leaving the cars we had seen four 
horsetails including Equisetum pratense and E sylvaticum. We also saw Gymnocarpium 
dryopteris, Dryopteris expansa, Oreopteris limbosperma and Cystopteris montana, so very 
rare in Britain. Much enthusiasm is always shown on these forays when we meet 
clubmosses, and after the group discovered Diphasiastrum x issleri and Lycopodium 
clavatum, I went on to look at Polystichum lonchitis, Asplenium viride and Cystopteris 
fragilis. We walked on further to a waterfall for lunch and saw the delicate Cystopteris 
alpxna along with a stand of Gymnocarpium robertianum, which then gave way to 
Cystopteris montana. Retracing our steps part way and then taking a different route back, 

" '" '■"'" ^omplanatum, Dryopteris carthusiana and Phegopteris connectilis were 

added to a growing list. Breathtaking views, so typical of Austria, were around us all day. 
Tuesday saw us in a large cavalcade heading for the Gerlospass to marvel at the spectacle of 
Europe's largest waterfall at Krimml. Within yards of the start of the walk we were able to 
photograph the truly beautiful Polystichum x luerssenii. Not far away we found both 
parents, P. aculeatum and P. braunii. The constant spray from the waterfall drifted some 
distance and it was here that a whole multitude of ferns could be found but I was surprised 
to come across Matteuccia struthiopteris and much Dryopteris x ambroseae. 
After the exhausting climb we had lunch and then pressed on and it soon flattened out with 
the path running alongside the large river. Here we came across Lycopodium clavatum 
subspmonostachyo^ And then we were on the open hillside where Polystichum lonchitis, 
uryoptens affims subsp. cambrensis, Asplenium trichomanes and Polypodium vulgare held 
sway. We returned down the other side of the river below the first parfof the falls to see if 
s different ferns; we especially hoped to see Dryopteris remota, but only added 
nana to our list. However, we had the good fortune to meet Claude Jerome, who 
offered to take us back to the foot of the falls to show us D. remota. It was good to see this 
plant growing ,n the wikl We had hoped to stop off and look for Eauisetum pratense on the 
way back, since Michel Boudne had wanted to see some aood specimens b„t it was very 
late and Michei was g 1V mg the evening talk on his trip to ti^^S^T 
Wednesday saw us taking a bus to a site ne 

bus driver was a local he was allowed tc 

< meyeri, the hybrid between P. lonchitis and P. \ 
^Ld fl I"™* 1 Sear t n ? ^ " fidd in WWch C,aude had seen the fe ™ P"^* WC 
Howevtt C ° WS "^IT e3ten ^ 3nd the Search a11 around also P- ved frultleSS - 
' "'— s of Polystichum x luerssenii. Many of the 
:n on our previous two days, 
ferns, good company and 
r dinner and later in one of the lodges. 

vouare ,nt ^ ^ ^ ***" Side of ^ border Wlth F ™e and in 2005 m Brittany. If 

Lot of Momh f ln T ing the GEP annual excursion p,ease contact Prof - Ronnie viane ' 

35^^^' SySte r tiCS and Ec0l °*y> Sectlon: Ptendology, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 
35, Gent, B-9000 Belgium. E-mail:; Tel. 1 Fax: +329-2645057. 


BBC GARDENERS' WORLD LIVE! - 11-15 June A.R. Busby 

This year I arrived at the NEC, Birmingham to find that the staging for the stand had been 

set up, but not as I had requested. With the help of my NCCPG friends and some borrowed 

tools, the staging was re-erected as I wanted it. 

In spite of having over 60 ferns in pots to choose from, I had difficulty in finding 20 ferns 

worthy of public gaze. Luckily, Bryan and Gill Smith had stated their intention of bringing some 

of the Society's merchandise to sell to the public from the stand. This took up some space but 1 

still had to use one or two ferns that were not really in 'show condition'. 

Wednesday, the first day of the show, proved disappointing. It seemed that fewer members 

of the public attended in spite of glorious weather. 

next year. It 1 

:ated by the show 
?egs the question - 
nds of the specialis 

organisers that they intend to doub 
- will the public have the time or ii 

ile the size of the show 
nclination to make their 

My thanks ar 
A. Ogden and 

1 Mrs E. Graham for helping me < 

Mrs B. Smith, Mr B 
an the stand. 

. and Mrs G. Smith, 


The dates of 
members visii 

ting our stand. If they feel they c; 

20th June, and we ai 

e always pleased to 
ours to work with us 


Alan Ogden, Matt Busby & Gill S 

ti on BPS stand at BBC Gardeners' World Live! 

SOUTHPORT FLOWER SHOW - 21-23 August A.R. Busby 

I expected the extreme temperatures and dry weather of recent weeks to reduce even further 
the numbers and quality of the ferns in the competitive classes. However, I was both 
pleased and encouraged to see that the quality of the exhibits was very good and the same 
number of exhibitors had nearly doubled the number of entries. As usual there were a 
couple of disqualifications, largely due to lack of diligence in appreciating what is required 
for a particular class, but I felt that the show organisers were partly at fault by not 
explaining on the show bench exactly what each class was for. Class Eight was a prime 
example. The card on the show bench demanded ONE foreign fern without the 
qualification that it was for a foreign fern hardy IN great BRITAIN. Consequently, an 
exhibitor staged a very good Asplenium nidus in this class and inevitably 1 had to disqualify 
it. A pity, for in the right class it would have got a first or second prize. I shall contact the 

The prize-winners are listed below. The judge was A.R. Busby. 

Class 6 Individual Championship: Four hardy, two greenhouse and two foreign hardy 
ferns: 1st Mr B. Russ, 2nd Mr I. Rawson (2 entries) 
3 7 Three Hardy British Ferns (three distinct species not varieties): (1 entry - 

8 One Foreign Fem Hardy in Great Britain: 1st Mr I. Rawson, 2nd Mr B. Russ 
(3 entries, 1 entry disqualified) 

10 Three Po! sties): 1st Mr I. Rawson (1 entry) 

1 1 Three Athyrium (distinct varieties): 2nd Mr I. Rawson (1 entry) 

12 Three Asplenium (excluding A scolopendrium): 1st Mr B. Russ (1 entry) 

13 One British Fern (any kind or variety): 1st Mr B. Russ, 2nd Mr I. Rawson 
(2 entries) 

14 One Greenhouse Fern: 1st Mr H.J. Abbott, 2nd Mr I. Rawson (2 entries) 

1 5 Three Asplenium scolopendrium (3 distinct varieties): 1 st Mr B . Russ ( 1 entry) 
Points are no longer awarded to winners. The exhibitor with the most wins in all classes 
excluding class six receives the Happiland Trophy. This year's winner was Mr Ian Rawson. 
The BPS Championship Cup for Class Six was won by Mr Brian Russ. 

The theme for this year's show was 'Literature' and although the Specialist Society stands 
are not obliged to reflect a theme, several societies, including the BPS, decided to take part. 
I decided to stage our usual hardy ferns with examples of 'Ferns in Literature'. However, 
the only example I knew was the oft quoted ' ... we have the receipt of fern seed ... we walk 
invisible' from Shakespeare's Henry /Fpart 2. Mrs Brenda Smith kindly pointed me in the 
direction of R.D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone, chapter 38, but after my friend Mrs Christine 
Hobson put out a plea on the Internet for ferns mentioned in literature she was able to 
prepare a list of over 500 examples. I will refrain from quoting all the six passages I used on 
the stand, which were from works by Thomas Hardy, Emily Bronte, Walter de la Mare and 
William Shakespeare. The one that was commented on by several visitors to the stand and 
moved one lady so much she copied it down, was the one recommended by Brenda Smith 
from Lorna Doone: 

"Along and down the tiny banks, and nodding into one another, even across main channel, 
hung the brown arcade of ferns; some with gold tongues languishing; some with countless 
ear-drops jerking, some with great quilled ribs uprising and long saws aflapping; others 
cupped, and fanning over with the grace of yielding, even as a hollow fountain spread by 
winds that have lost their way. 

Deeply each beyond othei - weaving roftt tt pilkm 

lace, coying to the wind and water, when i d, or by which their beaut) 

moved, - God has made no lovelier thing; and only He takes heed of them." 

However, I do take exception to the idea that only HE takes heed of them! We do too! 

I would like to express my thanks to i and friends who took the 

trouble to make long journeys to see the show and spend a few minutes chatting to us on the 
stand. Mr P. Acock, Mrs R. Baker, Mr B. Russ, Mr P. Lamb. Mrs S. Culpitt and Dr and Mrs 
T. Piearce. Thanks are also due to Christine Hobson and David Fowler for all their efforts 
in finding and presenting the 'Ferns in Literature' examples used on the stand. M\ special 
thanks to Ann Gill, Ray and Brenda Smith and my partner, Elizabeth Graham, for their 
valued support. 


. Ra> - 

n Gill & Rita Baker 

n BPS stand at Southport Flower Show 

Next year will be the 75th Southport Flower Show and in celebration next year's show will 
be over four days, therefore the dates will be the 19th to 22nd August 2004 and we look 
forward to seeing you there. We are always short of help on the stand so it any members 
have just a few hours to spare I would be very pleased with any offers of help. If any 
members are interested in showing ferns at the Southport Show I would be pleased to advise 
on the pleasures and pitfalls of competitive showing. For a schedule for the show please 
apply to Southport Show Ltd., Victoria Park, Southport, PR8 2BZ. 


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2004 - The 101st AGM will take place on Saturday 
20th March 2004 in the Mineralogy Seminar Room, The Natural History Museum, London 
at 2.00 p.m. 

COMMITTEE VACANCIES - In accordance with paragraph 3, section 3 of the 
Society's Constitution, five vacancies will occur due to the retirement of three of the 
longest serving Committee members and two unfilled vacancies. Nominations are invited 
from Society members to fill these vacancies at the Annual General Meeting in 2004. 
The names of the nominees, proposers and seconders, together with a letter from the 
nominee indicating his/her willingness to serve, should reach the General Secretary 
before the AGM. Members with a potential interest in serving as an elected 
Committee member and who wish to know more of the duties and responsibilities are 
invited to contact the Secretary. 

SUBSCRIPTIONS 2004 - Members are reminded that subscriptions were due on 1st 
January 2004 and should be paid to the Membership Secretary. Cheques should be made 
payable to The British Pteridological Society'. Current rates are given inside the front 
cover of this issue. Payment can be made by Credit Card see renewal form. Standing 
Order forms are printed on the reverse of renewal forms and are also available from the 
Membership Secretary and the BPS website ( Standing Orders may be 
paid on 1st January or 1st February. In either case, membership is deemed to be from 1st 
January to 3 1 st December. 

Persistent subscription defaulters - Each year the Membership Secretary spends 
twice as much time on the 200 members who pay late, or not at all, as on the 600 
members who pay correctly within the first four months of the year! Members are 
reminded that according to Clause 11 of the Constitution "Any member failing to pay 
his subscription within six calendar months of its becoming due shall be liable to have 
his name removed from the List of Members of this Society"! Despite persistent requests 
from the Membership Secretary, there are also a small number who fail to update their 
Standing Orders when subscriptions increase. Such members have continued to receive 
full benefits of membership at the Society's cost. Defaulting members who do not 
amend their Standing Orders with their bank and are still paying at the old rate shall be 
notified that they will not receive the Fern Gazette until such time as their Standing 
Orders are updated. Members still paying even earlier rates shall be notified that their 
name will be removed from the Membership List until such times as Standing Orders 
are updated or cancelled. Any monies received from old Standing Orders will be treated 

PUBLICATIONS BY AIRMAIL - Our journals can be sent by airmail to overseas 
members, provided that they advise the Membership Secretary and pay an additional 
subscription to cover airmail postage. See inside front cover for rates. 
attending Society field meetings should be aware of the Society's Safety Code (see 2000 
275), as well as the Code of Conduct for the Conservation and Enjoyment of 
Wild Plants (see 1999 Bulletin 5(4): 199), and are required to sign a Declaration form. 

s of these d 

obtained from the Meetings Secretary c 

GREENFIELD FUND This fund, set up as a memorial to one of our Society's great tern 
growers, Percy Greenfield, is used to finance approved research projects, helping with the 
cost of necessary equipment, books and travel expenses. Percy Greenfield's inferos! leaned 

university or college grants and similar support are not therefore eligible for help from the 
fund. Applications will normally be dealt with once a year and should be submitted by 1st 
November. Anyone wishing to avail themselves of this fund should contact the Hon. 
General Secretary for further ii 

CENTENARY FUND - This fund is used to promote the study of all aspects of 
pteridophytes horticultural, scientific and educational, whether by amateurs, students or 
professional pteridologists. As such its scope is much broader and more flexible than the 
Greenfield Fund. Applications will normally be dealt with once a year and should be 
submitted by 1st November. Anyone wishing to avail themselves of this fund should 
contact the Hon. General Secretary for further information. 

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS - There are three Special Interest Groups. For further 
information please send a stamped addressed envelope to the organisers: 
Tree-ferns: Prof. A.C. Wardlaw, 92 Drymen Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2SY. 
Foreign Hardy Ferns: A.R. (Matt) Busby, 16 Kirby Comer Road, Canley, Coventry ( \ 4 S( , I ). 
Filmy Ferns: S.J. Munyard, 234 Harold Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN35 5NG. 
Alternatively the organisers may be contacted by e-mail:,, 

MEMBERS INFORMATION SERVICE - Members often require information and 
advice on many aspects of pteridophytes but are reluctant to ask or simply do not know 
where to obtain help. Queries from members on any aspects of the biology, identification or 
cultivation of ferns or fern allies should be sent, with three first class stamps, to the 
Horticultural Information Officer. 

READING CIRCLE - The Society operates a reading circle for the American Fern 
Journal, a quarterly publication containing much information for those seriously interested 
in ferns. The Fiddlehead Forum, which publishes many 'ferny' items of interest to the 
amateur grower, accompanies it. To receive these journals contact the Horticultural 
Information Officer. 

BACK NUMBERS OF JOURNALS - I have been impressed this year when out in the 
field by the number of times our journals have been seen, either while in use looking for an 
old site or just as general reading about a previous visit. In Madeira we were rueing the fact 
that we had not got a particular article with us to help us 'unravel' a couple of tricky ferns. 
All the journals have something worthwhile within and it is sad that I cannot provide all the 
back numbers but there are still a few tons stored away in my loft for those preparing to go 
on field trips, those needing extra help in cultivation and for those armchair pteridologists 
among us. A mixed pack of six of our journals is available for £6. The Back Numbers 
Organiser can provide a full list of other journals available. Pat Acock 
exchanges journals with many other fern societies in the world. We have a collection of 
journals/newsletters from societies in the United States (2), Australia (3), New Zealand, 
India and the Netherlands. If members would like to browse these, they are welcome to get 
in touch with the Back Numbers Organiser for a list of our holdings. The journals can then 
be borrowed for just the cost of postage both ways. 

E-MAIL ADDRESSES - Members who would like their e-mail addresses published in 
future membership address lists and who (1) have a stable e-mail address that is unlikely to 
change in the immediate future, and (2) keep up-to-date with their e-mail messages, are 
invited to send their address BY E-MAIL to the Membership Secretary at: Please subsequently notify the Membership Secretary if your e- 
mail address changes. 

BPS WEBSITE - (Hosted by The Natural History Museum.) 
E-MAIL LIST & PRIVATE DOCUMENT STORE - Members are reminded that there 
is an e-mail group or 'list' for BPS members only. Its purpose is for discussion of Society 
matters of common interest and for communication of updated information; it is not 
intended as a list to discuss the botany or growing of ferns, for which another list such as 
FERNS would be more appropriate. See the BPS Website under 'Links'. Send a blank e- 
mail to: to subscribe. There is also a document store on 
this site, which will be used for documents intended only for members and therefore not 
appropriate for posting on the BPS website, e.g. Booksales list and Merchandise details. So 
far, few members have subscribed to this service. Contact the BPS Webmaster for further 
t rr on. 

BPS VIDEO 'BRITISH FERNS' This twenty-five minute video shows most of the 
native British ferns growing in their natural habitats. It demonstrates the wide variety of 
size and form to be found in British ferns and the broad range of habitats they colonise. 
Attention is drawn to key identification characters for each species. 

Schering Agriculture and the National Museum of Wales funded the video. It is available 
for loan to members and interested organisations for £3, to cover handling costs (UK only). 
For further details write to the General Secretary enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. 
BPS FIRST MINUTE BOOK - This historical document containing the Committee 
Minutes from the inception of the Society in 1891 to 1983 is available in full colour on a 
CD ROM at £10 per copy, including postage. Place your order through Booksales. 
BRITISH WILDLIFE - Concessionary individual subscriptions to British Wildlife 
magazine are available to BPS members. 

ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY - Our Society is affiliated to the RHS, enabling 
a limited number of members to enjoy certain privileges in connection with RHS Shows, 
competitions and services. 

PAYMENT OF EXPENSES - Documents setting out the Rules of Conduct for the 
Treasurer (BPS/T/1), the Rules for Seeking Re-imbursement of Personal Travelling and 
Administrative Expenses by officers and members acting on behalf of the Society 
(BPS/T/2), and the Authorities for Payment (BPS/T/3) can be obtained from the Honorary 
Treasurer on request. 

COPYRIGHT - All contributors to the BPS journals and webpage are required to sign an 
agreement assigning ownership of copyright of the article, photograph etc. to the BPS. This 
has the aim of safeguarding the contributors' work from unlawful copying and use. It does 
not stop contributors from using their own work elsewhere provided that they acknowledge 
the original source of publication. 

MERCHANDISE - Do you have a BPS sweatshirt and/or tee-shirt, or one of the polo 
snirts. these are all dark green with a small BPS logo in yellow. Other items, such as BPS 
ties and metal badges, ferny greetings cards and mugs, are also for sale. Can't find your 
r lorm? Contact the Merchandise Organisers for details. They would also welcome 
new <tnc\c J 

ROYAL PATRONAGE - We are pleased to announce that HRH The Prince of Wales has 
agreed to be our patron for another five years. 

THE FUTURE OF BOOKSALES - Steve Munyard regretfully needs to relinquish hi> 
role as Booksales Organiser, so we are looking for volunteers to take over for 2005. Would 
you be interested? There is the possibility of splitting management of BPS Special 
Publications from the sale of other new/second-hand books. Contact Steve to find cm! « hal 


needs volunteers to assist at the BBC Gardeners' World Live! and Southport Flower Show. 

You do not need to be an expert on ferns or fern growing, just prepared to spend a few 

hours or a day on the stand. Expenses are available and should be negotiated with 

A.R. Busby in the first instance. Further information is available from the Horticultural 

Information Officer. 

Do you have expertise in the design of display stands or similar skills and would like to 

help the Society? The Committee has agreed the purchase of display stands for use at 

Flower Shows and other events and is seeking help with their design. If you have that 

expertise and are willing to help, please contact A.R. Busby, the Horticultural Information 



records of ferns and fern allies in the wild should be sent to the appropriate Botanical 

Society of the British Isles (BSBI) Vice-County recorders, whose addresses are available 

from the BSBI website or BSBI yearbook, which is available to BSBI members. For those 

without access to the Internet or yearbook, records may be sent to the Conservat.on Officer 

who will forward them to the BSBI. These records are stored centrally at the Biological 

Records Centre, and can be accessed by the BPS. 

NURSERY ADVERTISEMENTS - Members with nurseries that offer ferns are reminded 

that they may place an advertisement in the Bulletin, Pteridologist and on the website, free 

charge, in return for the 

: Society in their catalogues. 

a available from the Secretary. The Website Editor can ad 
suitable image of a plant or the nursery against the nursery's details, if it was wanted 
leaflet Where to see ferns is soon to be revised. If members wish their nursery tc 
included, please contact the Hon. Gen. Secretary. 

THE HARDY FERN FOUNDATION - The Hardy Fern Foundation was founded in 1 
to establish a comorehensive collection of the world's hardy ferns for display, test 

evaluation, public education auu huh^-.. B 

Many rare and unusual species, hybrids and varieties are being propagated from spore: 
tested in selected environments for their different degrees of 
garden value. Membership costs just $20 for regular members or >iu ior s.uucn.. 
receive a first-rate introductory pack, a quarterly journal and access to their spore e 
lent easier. Those wishing 

We are proposing a reciprocal arrangement to make payment easier, i 

or renew their subscription for 2004 should contact Pat Acock, 13 1 Star L~~, __, -- 

Kent BR5 3LJ as soon as possible after reading this notice and will be informed oi ^the 

current membership rate in pounds. The contact in the USA is Michelle Bundy, 16038 46th 

Ave, South, Tukwila, WA 98188 USA. 

AMERICAN FERN SOCIETY - The AFS has had a reciprocal payment arrangement 

with the BPS for manv vears through the Membership Secretary. See AFS advert on p. 1 14. 


MINUTES of the 100th Annual General Meeting of the British Pteridological Society held 

at The Natural History Museum, London, on Saturday 22nd March 2003 at 14.15 hours. 

IN THE CHAIR: The President, Prof A.C. Wardlaw. 

PRESENT: Mr R.G. Ackers, Mr P.J. Acock, Mr M.A. & Mrs L.C. Baggott, 

Mr A.R. Busby, Miss J.M. Camus, Mr S.E. Czeladzinski, Mr R. Dadd, Mr A.J. Dickman, 

Mr C.R. & Mrs N. Fraser-Jenkins, Dr Y.C. Golding, Dr N.J. Hards, Dr M. Hayward, 

MrsR. Hibbs, Mr K.Hill, Mr G.K. Hoare, Miss J.M. Ide, Ms E. Knox-Thomas, 

Mr A. Leonard, Ms M.A. MacBeth, Mr A Monaghan, Miss CM. Mullins, Mr A.H. Ogden, 

Miss A.M. Paul, Mr A.C. Pigott, Prof. C.E. Polkey, MrT.Pyner, Mr P. H. Ripley, 

Dr F.J. Rumsey, Mr B.D. Smith, Mr F. A. Strang, Mr A.D. & Mrs M. Urquhart, 

Dr T.G. Walker, Mr L.H. Winning, Mr B. Wright. 

Item 1 - APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Mr J.H Bouckley, Mr R.J. Cooke, 

Dr A.F.Dyer, Dr M. Gibby, Mr M.L.Grant, MrL.Kirkham, Dr S.D. Martinelli, 

Dr J.W. Merryweather, Mr M.H. Rickard, Mrs G. Smith, Mr R.W. Sykes. 

Item 2 - APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The Minutes of the 99th Annual General Meeting 

held on Saturday 15th March 2002, and published in the 2002 Bulletin (Vol. 6, no. 1) were 

approved (proposed by A.R. Busby, seconded by R.G. Ackers) and signed by the Chairman. 

(Note: Owing to the late publication of the Bulletin the Minutes of the AGM 2002 had only 

been seen in advance by the Committee but copies were available on the day to members 

attending the AGM. The Minutes published in the Bulletin and approved at this meeting 

were a slightly shortened version of the Minutes as recorded in the Minute Book.) 

Item 3 - MATTERS ARISING: None. 


As the Society celebrates its one hundred and twelfth year this year you may be asking, 

"Where did the other 12 AGMs go?" In 1917 annual meetings were suspended after the 

death of C.T. Druery, who was Secretary at the time and because of the First World War, 

being resumed in 1920. Then, in 1940, the Society went into abeyance during the Second 

World War, with Annual General Meetings being resumed in 1947. 

In the early years the Society's annual meeting was the only meeting in the year when "the 

business affairs of the Society were transacted, fern hunts were organised and talks given 

by the more gifted members" (Dyce 1991). The form of the meeting has changed several 

times over the years, but as the activities and interests of the Society increased they became 

the more formal AGMs of today, usually sandwiched between more interesting indoor 


(Ref.: Dyce, J.W., 1991 'The British Pteridological Society - The First One Hundred 
Years', in The History of British Pteridology, Ed. J.M. Camus, BPS Special Publication 

CHARITY STATUS: We made it! After six years and a great deal of hard work the 
Society officially became a registered charity on 1 1 June 2002! 

. iv u.e work that eventually resulted in our registration, 
particular we should thank B.A. Thomas for providing the initial impetus to begin tl 
pursuit of charity status, A.C. Wardlaw for his work in investigating the answers to 
number of queries that arose in the initial stages of the Committee's discussions, a. 
K.W. Sykes for the preparation of the application form. After the application had be. 

GIFT AID: One advantage of being a charity is that the Society can boost its income 
through claiming Gift Aid on members' subscriptions, and you should all have discovered a 

that the Committee is not short of ideas on how to spend it! 

GRANTS: A second advantage is that it should now be possible for the Society to tap into 
sources of grants and the Committee recently deputed R.W. Sykes to investigate possible 
sources and the application procedures for such as the Heritage and Lottery funds. 
INSURANCE: The Committee continues to review the Society's organisation and activities. 
Insurance was already part of the on-going review, but once the Society became a charity it 
was imperative that investigations should be completed as soon as possible and decisions 

On becoming a charity, every member of the Committee became a trustee with a number of 
responsibilities, not least of which is to see that the Society is neither negligent with its 
money nor careless of the safety of others or of property, both of members and third parties. 
In the event of accidents, damage to property, fraud or defamation, the Society must be able 
to show that it has taken all possible measures to avoid them. If the Society was sued and 
found to be negligent in the way it conducted any of its affairs, any damages against the 
Society could ruin it financially and the trustees could become liable, even to the forfeiture 
of their own property. Although the Society, since 2000, has had an insurance policy to 
cover third party liability, the Committee had a number of concerns, not least of which was 
trustee liability. The Committee, therefore, accepted R.G. Ackers' offer to investigate 
insurance and review the ways in which the Society tries to reduce the risk of accidents to 
members and their guests, and damage to property during meetings. As a result of a 
considerable amount of work, for which we must thank him warmly, the Committee is now 
satisfied that we have appropriate insurance cover, but will regularly review the position 
and constantly be open to situations that may give cause for change. 
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: When the Special Interest Groups were first set up 
around 1992, it was expected that each group convenor would prepare and distribute an 
annual newsletter to members of the group. A.C. Wardlaw reviewed the Groups and found 
that the other convenors, like himself as convenor of the Tree-Fern SIG, were finding it 
difficult to elicit articles from members and were effectively writing the newsletters 
themselves. This was putting a considerable burden on them. A.C. Wardlaw suggested, 
therefore, that the activities of these groups might take alternative forms, and as a result the 
Meetings Subcommittee was asked to arrange, as part of the national programme, a meeting 
each November based on the area of interest of one Special Interest Group, running on a 
two to three year cycle; these would, of course, be open to other interested members of the 
Society. It was also suggested that convenors might solicit lists of ferns grown by members 
of their groups and these could be published in Pteridologist. With these alternative 
activities there would be no expectation of an annual newsletter, but the idea of Special 
Interest Groups would be preserved. The meetings would also serve to extend the Society s 
contribution to its educational aims. Already we see these alternative activities 
manifested in this year's meetings programme with a Tree-Fern Mini-Symposium to be 
held at Kew, and in the publication of the Tree-Fern Newsletter in the latest issue of 

ARCHIVES: After one hundred and twelve years the Society's archive material is now 
considerable. With no record of exactly how much material there is or where it is stored, the 
Committee has been anxious about the inaccessibility and vulnerability of this very valuable 


the Society and to fern taxonomy 

at last year's AGM at Ness Botar 

with a dinner in his honour after which diners enjoyed the skills of James Merryweather on 

several instruments from his collection of bagpipes. 

AFFILIATE SOCIETIES: The Society does not act in isolation. It has been a member of 

the Royal Horticultural Society for very many years now, and we have had a representative, 

since its inception a number of years ago, on PlantLife Link, the organisation that liaises on 

behalf of the individual botanical societies of the British Isles with the plant conservation 

charity, PlantLife. In 2002 we were invited to have a representative on PlantLife Link 

Scotland, a new similar group with a particular concern for Scotland's flora. 

Towards the end of 2001 1 

In October the Committee took the decision to join the National Council for the 
Conservation of Plants and Gardens (the NCCPG) (though we actually joined in 2003), as 
it was felt that the Society should seek to improve its relationship with the NCCPG and be pro- 
l members to create National Collections of ferns. 

Finally, we have registered our interest in the proposed educational activities of tr 
National Biodiversity Network (NBN) by completing an extensive questionnaire sent to tt 
Society. (The National Biodiversity Network aims to provide a central Internet access poii 
for all biological records from all sources, which can be accessed by anyone.) 
Our affiliation to these different organisations is one means by which the Society fulfils i 
stated aim of promoting the cultivation, study and conservation of ferns and fern allies. 

(For completeness, perhaps it should be noted here that the Society is also a member of the 
National Federation of Plant Societies, which was si 

>rt to the various plant societies in the United Kingdom, be they botanical 
societies with an interest primarily in wild plants, or groups with an interest in particular 

DEATH OF MEMBERS: It is always with deep sadness that we report the death of members, 
but 2002 saw the loss of five members of long-standing, who, in very diverse ways, had made 
valuable contributions to pteridology in the cultivation of ferns or the study of their biology. 
They were John Bond and John Mashiter, both expert fern growers, Hugh Corley and Betty 
Molesworth-Allen, fern taxonomists, and Peter Corbin, whose claim to fame was his 
discovery of a true wild Asplenium st Q \ (See Obituaric B lletin 

2002, Vol.6, Number 1, pages 78-85.) 

THANKS: I would like to finish my report by saying thank you to several people. 
If it had not been for his considerable personal determination to ensure the publication of 
the Fern Gazette and Pteridologist, these journals would not have been published in 2002. 
Alastair Wardlaw devoted a great deal of his time in searching for an editor for 
Pteridologist and in personally preparing Part 5 of Volume 16 of the Fern Gazette for 
publication. (He is also responsible for the bumper three-part issue of the Gazette, which 
will contain the papers presented at the Symposium in 2001, to be published very shortly, 
which will bring the due issues of the Gazette up-to-date.) The difficulty continues of 
finding editors for our journals and members willing to help, even in small ways, with the 

publication process of both the journals and Special Publications. A very pro-active 
President, Alastair deserves our admiration for taking on a second time-consuming position, 
that of Acting Chairman of the Publications Subcommittee. The Society owes him a ureal 
debt of gratitude, and on behalf of the Committee and the membership of the Society I 
would like to record our thanks to him for all his hard work. 

My own special thanks go to Alastair for being so supportive and gentle with me in my 
present circumstances, which do not always enable me to be as efficient or as supportive o( 
him as I would like, and to Alison Paul for keeping me on the straight and narrow b\ 
reminding me of things I have forgotten, not taken into account, or just plain got wrong! 
Finally, I should like to thank the Committee for being very forbearing with me when I am 
unable to get documents out for meetings as early as I would like and they would wish. To 
you all, thank you very much indeed. 

R.G. Ackers commented that the Meetings Subcommittee was already reaping an advantage 
of being a charity. The normal charge for a room at the National Botanic Garden of \\ ales. 
where next year's AGM is to be held, is £360, but the Society will be charged £60 because 
of its charity status. T.G. Walker noted that another Society of a similar size to the BPS and 

The Secretary's report was approved, proposed by A.M. Paul, seconded by N.J. Hards. 
Item 5 - REPORT OF THE HONORARY TREASURER (A. Leonard): The Treasurer 
presented the unaudited accounts for the year ending 31st December 2002. He explained 
that the accounts had yet to be finalised. Traditionally, the cost of the Bulletin was charged 
to the year on which it was reporting although the invoice was usually received and paid in 
the following year. The figure in the unaudited accounts will, therefore, probably be 
changed. Income exceeded expenditure by approximately £3,000, which was about average 
over recent years. He was pleased to report that the accounts were healthy. 
In response to a question, the Treasurer stated that the value of the two computers noted in 
item 3 of the notes accompanying the accounts were the actual prices paid for each of them. 
The accounts were approved, subject to auditing, proposed by S.E. Czeladzinski, seconded 
by F.J. Rumsey. (For accounts see page 169.) 

rise in subscription rates and unavoidable delays in the publication of the Society's journals, 
membership numbers held up well, although there was a small decline. Some members 
resigned, feeling that twenty pounds was too much to pay, others became 'Optional' 
members, thus reducing their payments to sixteen pounds, but forgoing the Fern Gazette, 
and some said they would resign at the end of the year - although not all have carried out 
this threat! Thus, at the end of 2002 the membership total stood at 778, 23 down on 2001. A 
breakdown of this total shows that there were 33 Complimentary and Honorary Members, 
52 Family Members, 19 Student Members, 86 Subscribers and 588 'Ordinary' Members. 
Interestingly we have practically doubled our number of Student Members; 19 young 
people with a keen eye for good value. 

During 2002, 76 new members joined the Society, the same number as in 2001 and very 
much in line with most previous years. Against these have to be set the losses: the death 
of five valued members of the Society, the resignation of 37 members, a figure that is 
substantially higher than normal and, as mentioned before, is largely accounted for by 
the rise in subscription rates, and finally, 57 members were deemed to have lapsed, since 
they failed to pay their subscription for the year despite one general and two personal 

the reason for the fall is obvious and we can 
- or two numbers will be made up. Following a rise in 
subscnption rates most societies experience a fall in numbers but they are quickly made 
good in the ensuing years. The number of new members has not declined, and this should 
perhaps be seen as the key factor in that process. 

(R.J. Cooke): The most noteworthy event this year in botanical circles was the long 
awaited publication of The New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. This monumental tome 
(nearly 1,000 pages plus a CD, and very heavy), published by the Botanical Society of the 
British Isles, is the culmination of a vast amount of recording, including that of BPS 
members. It reflects well on the BPS that members were able to contribute both records and 
species accounts. The Atlas contains distribution maps and brief species accounts, and also 
includes for the first time a separate distribution map for the gametophyte of Killarney fern 
and many non-native species. Flicking through the fern maps reveals a number of trends, 
including the contraction of the range of clubmosses to the north-west, the general decline 
in distribution of marsh fern and other species susceptible to intensive agriculture, and the 
widespread distribution of the non-native Azolla. If you have not yet seen the Atlas I would 
recommend it, although perhaps to consult rather than to purchase. 

Inevitably, the first thing that one does with an atlas is to check that dots exist where you 
know the species to occur. Usually it becomes quickly obvious that there are some 
unexplained gaps. Therefore the BPS is likely to instigate some targeted recording of 
specific species over the next couple of years to try and plug these gaps. We will then be 
able to publish updated maps, in much the same way as we did in 1978 with the (old) fern 
atlas. More on this to follow once the Committee has endorsed the proposal. 
The Atlas, of course, will stimulate much recording and discussion and one of our greatest 
challenges is keeping data freely and readily available. The National Biodiversity Network 
(NBN) aims to help this process, by linking datasets and information through a 'gateway' 
on the Internet. It is early days yet but in due course I hope that the BPS will be able to play 
its full role in this initiative. More information can be found on the NBN website 
(; its stated objectives are to: 

• Bring together information about biodiversity from a range of different sources. 

• Check that this information is reliable, properly documented and safely stored. 

• Create links between organisatu 

• Prepare dictionaries of names to help p 

• Enable anyone to find out about the UK's wildlife, locally and nationally. 

• Develop projects to make the wealth of information available for educational 

• Encourage people to participate in the network, so that knowledge and understanding 
of our natural heritage continues to grow in the future. 

In reply to a question from T.G. Walker, N.J. Hards commented that localities of 
endangered species were safeguarded to the extent that only the general area in which an 
endangered species was present was given and not the details of the precise locality. Some 
people still had qualms about even this level of information being available. 
R.G. Ackers asked if a pteridophyte subset of the new Atlas was likely to be published, as 
suggested in the Minutes of last year's AGM? A.C. Pigott replied that there was a verbal 
agreement with the Botanical Society of the British Isles that the BPS could have access to 
the data. However, the BSBI might be uncomfortable with a straight lift from the Atlas. He 
telt that the BPS should aim to do something extra, something better, with the data. 


Item 8 - SUBCOMMITTEE (Permanent) REPORTS: 

8.1 - Meetings Subcommittee (P. J. Acock): I suppose it is because we live in such 
prosperous times that we are able to have such a rich and challenging meetings programme 
Who among our forbears would have guessed that the Fern Society would have been 
exploring for ferns in Chile in February, eating ice-cream and celebrating Clive Jenny's 
70th Birthday in the Wirral on the occasion of our AGM, putting on an excellent mini- 
symposium in Edinburgh during the World Cup or clambering around Tenerife during 
December. As well as this we fitted in a day trip to Scotney Castle and Sissinghurst: were 
able to fit in our postponed field meeting to the Lakes in July; and ran an Eqtasettm 
Workshop at Bangor and a field meeting to Teesdale. It takes your breath away just 
thinking about it. 

We have seen a wealth of new attendees and felh a number of 

members. We have had members joining us from across 'The Pond' and from the BSBI. We 
had 28 attending for one of the days at Bangor! 

To put on all these meetings takes a great deal of effort and it is my privilege and pleasure 
to give a vote of thanks to all those involved in any way in the planning, preparation and 
execution of this great year. We must especially thank those who front the meetings, who 
come up with the ideas and plan them, but we must also thank those who offer their homes 
for hospitality, those who prepare rooms, sit on doors, make the tea and help in any number 
of little ways that make the meetings pass by seamlessly. 

The regional groups continue to flourish and are an excellent way of recruiting and 
retaining the membership's interest at the local level. They are as diverse as they are in 
number. To start one is not difficult because they can be what anyone wants them to be. In 
East Anglia and the South East we had our second joint meeting and this has proved to be 
an excellent way of sharing ideas, interest and friendship. 

The Meetings Subcommittee would also like to thank all those who attended and helped to 
make this year's meetings a real joy. 

8.2 - Publications Subcommittee (Prof. A.C. Wardlaw): Because of the dispersed 
nature of its membership, the Publications Subcommittee did not meet during the past year. 
However, the members were in communal communication by e-mail, and an e-Publications 
Subcommittee had numerous exchanges of correspondence. The President served as Acting 
Chairman pending 

Meanwhile the Society overcame the difficulties encountered 18 months ago when both 
Pteridologist and The Fern Gazette were without Editors and had none in prospect. The 
nature of publication activities by the Society potentially looks bright, with all the new 
electronic possibilities for storing and disseminating information. Thus we have the 
printed journals and leaflets, the special publications, the capability of copying large 
archival texts onto CD, and our website. However, to exploit these opportunities will 

8-2.1 - Bulletin. At the time of writing, the 2002 issue of the Bulletin is in the final stages 
of preparation, the delay being caused by the large size of this Part combined with the 
introduction of new technology. It contains the usual range of Society News. Miss 
A.M. Paul continues the expert and dedicated service that she has delivered to the Society 

8.2.2 - The Fern Gazette: The 2002 issue will be of exceptional size - 230 pages and 
comprise Parts 6, 7 & 8 of Volume 16. It contains the Proceedings of the 2001 Guildford 
Symposium on Fern Flora Worldwide: Threats and Responses. It should be published in 
March 2003. This special volume has been edited by Dr A.F. Dyer, Dr E. Sheffield and 
Prof. A.C. Wardlaw and is dedicated to Clive Jermy on the occasion of his 70th birthday. 
Meanwhile, Dr M. Gibby became Chief Editor of the journal in November 2002 and has 
mainstream papers being processed for Volume 17, Part 1 to be issued in 2003. 

8.2.3 - Pteridologist: A new-look Pteridologist journal was produced at A4 size and full 
colour. The new Editor, Dr J.W. Merryweather, is to be congratulated for his initiative and 
designer talents in this very attractive product. By previous arrangement, the Tree-Fern 
Newsletter (No. 8) was included as a feature of the magazine. As always, the Editor is keen 
to receive articles and illustrations on any aspect of ferns and their allies. 

8.2.4 - Worldwide Web Site. Mr A. C. Pigott continued to manage the Society's site on 
the Worldwide Web and is always on the lookout for new material. Members are referred to 
his article published in a previous Bulletin (5(5): 276. 2000). 

8.2.5 - Other Publica tions and Special Publica tions: - Symposium Proceedings: See above at 8.2.2. - BPS Minute Book CD: (BPS Special Publication No. 6). As previously reported, 
the Society's most valuable archive, the 630-page Minute Book, was scanned in colour and 
copied onto CD in Adobe PDF format by Mr B. Wright (case design by Mrs R. Hibbs). 
This unique product is now on offer through BPS Booksales. Further particulars may be 
found on the Society's website and in Pteridologist 4(1): 28. 

8.2.53 - Index for the Bulletin: Mr J. Crowe completed a draft Index to volumes \A of the Bulletin 

(1973-1995). It is hoped that an index to volumes 1-5 will be published during the next year. - Index for Pteridologist: Mr M. Searle is completing the compilation of an Index 

for the last volume (Vol. 3) of Pteridologist, and will soon start indexing Volumes 1 and 2. 

It is planned to issue the Indexes for the three volumes simultaneously but under separate 

covers. They will provide invaluable access to information on the wide range of 

pteridological subjects published in this magazine between 1984 and 2001. 

Discussion: At the end of the report, A.C. Pigott commented that the website had few of the 

restrictions that paper journals had, and articles with a minority interest or that were too 

large for a journal could easily be published on the website. C.R. Fraser-Jenkins asked if 

hard copies would be available for articles submitted to the website? A.C. Pigott replied that 

there was no automatic production of hard copy for items published on the web, but if the 

nature of the material was such that the author required the formality of publication then the 

necessary procedures would have to be gone through, such as the lodging of copies with the 

appropriate organisations. This could be done. A.C. Wardlaw commented further that it 

would be possible to make CD copies available on request. The BPS needs to be as 

imaginative as possible in the ways in which it disseminates material. 

8.3 - Fern Varieties Nomenclature Subcommittee: No report. 

Item 9 - SUBCOMMITTEE (ad hoc) REPORTS: 

9.1 - Fern Atlas Subcommittee: No report. 


10.1 - Archivist (A.R. Busby): This is probably the first time the Society Archivist has 

been able to report any real progress on the development of the Society's archives to an 

Annual General Meeting. Since the formation of the Society in 1891, it has accumulated a 

large quantity of pictures, letters, articles, books and items of memorabilia. Since then most 

of it has been stored in very poor conditions, usually in the attics or box-rooms of members. 

For some time the Committee had discussed how it might all be brought together under one 

roof, so that the appointed archivist might be given the chance to assess and catalogue the 

contents. During 2002 the Committee agreed to rent commercial storage space and last 

October I managed to obtain premises near to my home in Coventry. 

Having now had the opportunity to begin collating and assessing the contents of the 

Society's archive, I am beginning to appreciate i 

The task is huge and at this stage I have no clear idea of how much othe 

hands of other members. If any members feel that they have items that 

donate to the Society's archive such as photographs, letters, press i 

memorabilia, would they kindly contact me with the details first : 

overwhelmed by members' generosity. I look forward to reporting f 

the next Annual General Meeting. 

10.2 - Booksales (S.J. Munyard): Booksales continued to be used regularly by n 

at meetings and frequently by postal requests. It continues to be difficult to obta 

second-hand material but in the last four months a number of titles were purchase( 

Isle of Wight and in Suffolk. I will continue to search for these items along with ai 

new material that becomes available. 

things were slow during 2002, with very few orders coming in. There 
were two main reasons for this. One, the merchandise list did not go out with the members' 
mailing at the beginning of 2002. The second was that we did not have a large gathering 
like the Symposium, which had given sales a big boost in 2001. The turnover for 2002 
(about £200) reflects this, being much less than in 2001 (about £700). 
However, we have been trying to improve matters for the future. The merchandise list 
did go out with the early 2003 members' mailing, and there has been a good in-flow of 
orders since then. More importantly, we have been investigating new items which we and 
the Committee feel would interest members and are able to launch at this meeting a new 
BPS bone china mug, which features a lovely Blechnum penna-marina designed by Anne 
Wright and available at £4.50 each. We also have some attractive greetings cards again 
featuring more of Anne's delightful ferns, and we are grateful to her for producing them 
for the BPS to sell. 

Existing stocks of a number of items have been dwindling and these will gradually be 
replaced. As an example, there are now polo and sweatshirts bearing an attractive 
embroidered BPS logo. The screen print ones are still for sale but in a limited number of 
sizes, and are a little cheaper than the embroidered ones. Similarly, there are new car 
stickers which the manufacturer assures us are a lot more durable than the old (now 
exhausted) stock. Still in stock in abundance are boxes and boxes of BPS postcards and 
notelets. However, a lesson can be learnt here about over-purchasing as many are now in a 
poor state and will have to be written off. 

As for the future, < 
be producing a BP 
Finally, if anyone 
Please do let us kn 

A.C. Wardlaw asked how remainder stock was valued? Although no direct reply was 
forthcoming, A.C. Pigott responded that the postcards and notelets, purchased by him, had 
already paid for themselves when management of Merchandising was handed over to the 
previous managers, M. and L. Craddock, over six years ago. It was suggested that 

10.4 - Plant Exchange (R.G. Ackers): Following responses from the Plant Exchange 
insert in last November's Pteridologist mailing, a new List was prepared i 
mid-January 2003 to 14 postal requesters and 20 e-mail requesters. An updated vei 
the List was e-mailed at the end of January. This version contained 61 'offered' 

Four new ideas were introduced: 

• The addition, where known, of the USDA Hardiness Zone for the plants offered. 

• The option of having plants collected and/or posted. 

10.5 - Spore Exchange (B. & A. Wright): The exchange continued to be a popular 
service offered to members, with 149 requests being received and processed, resulting in 
the sending out of 2,473 packets of spores. Of these, 110 requests were from UK 
members (England 89, Scotland 11, Wales 10) and 39 from overseas. This reaffirms the 
international nature of our exchange. The overseas requests were from Austria (1), 
Belgium (1) Czech Republic (1), Denmark (2), Eire (3), Estonia (2), France (2), 
Germany (8), Japan (1), Luxembourg (1), Mauritius (1), Netherlands (4), Norway (1), 
Poland (1), Sri Lanka (2), Switzerland ( 1 ), USA (7). Three requests for spores were 
processed by A.R. Busby. 

Out of the 614 taxa on the 2002 list we had requests for 561 of them. Because we are no 
longer discarding spores after three years, we expect a steady increase in the number of 
species on the list. There is obviously a balance between taxa that 'run out' and 'new taxa' 
donated each year, but we still seem to be adding steadily to the list. 

During 2002 we received donations from 29 donors sending in 274 different taxa to top up 
the spore bank. Without donations there would not be an exchange. We are grateful for all 
" ; spores we receive and would like to thank those requesting them for their patience in the 

arly weeks of the distribution. 

In 2002 we suffered one of the aftershocks of the September 11th terrorist attack in 

America. The United States 

government imposed strict import regulations requiring tl 

produce a phytosanitary certificate for every consignment of spores going into the US. This 
added to our workload. We tried to group together these requests as we have to call out an 
inspector from DEFRA each time we send out a consignment. So far DEFRA have not 
charged for this service, however, we have been advised that if a charge is to be made it 
would be in the order of £40 per consignment. (DEFRA - Department for the Environment, 
Food and Rural Affairs) 

The only other problem we had during the year was when we tried to cash in some of the 
I Reply Coupons sent in by overseas members. Apparently, these are not valid 
if they have not been stamped by the issuing post office. This meant that we 
at more than 25 coupons because they had not been stamped. In this country 
i 44p for the return postage. This is a significant loss and we hope that 
>ers will, in future, ensure that their coupons are correctly stamped by their 

So far we have had no adverse comments about our use of small foil packets to contaii 
spores. We hope this means that it is an acceptable method of packaging and not that pe 
are too apathetic to complain. It may seem a fiddly way of packaging, but we fii 
advantageous in the long run as we can economise on glassine envelopes. It also enabh 
to make some of our smaller donations of spores stretch further by putting in sm 
quantities than we would have normally put into a glassine envelope alone. We did j 
number of adverse comments about spores getting trapped in the folds of the gla< 
envelopes that we used to use. 
One of the perennial problems we face i 
overseas members. Clearly they do not 1 
members and also there is a delay in their replies. This is why we do not start the exchange 
immediately we receive our first requests from UK members. We try to anticipate the 
turnaround period for various overseas members and advance their requests forwards by 
three or four days to give them a fair chance of obtaining the spores they want. We also 
continue to favour donors by advancing them to the front of the box regardless of when 
their request arrives. A good incentive for being a donor! 

With the increase in the use of the Internet and e-mail, we are coming under increasing 
ses the problem of how we get the 
les, etc. This problem will need to be 

jral Information Officer (A.R. Busby): Four enquiries I 
year, three of which were from non-members. One enquiry cc 
l.R. Busby was able to direct the enquirer to a supplier; tl 

t by P.H. Ripley and 


Election of Officers and Committee Members: The present officers of the Society 

were all eligible to stand for re-election and had indicated their willingness to stand. Of the 

present elected members of the Committee, R.G. Ackers was retiring, being the longest 

serving member of the Committee (elected 2000), and F.J. Rumsey had agreed to retire, 

there being four members elected in 2001. It was proposed by N.J. Hards and seconded by 

Miss J.M. Camus that the officers and those elected members eligible for re-election be 

elected en bloc. The vote was unanimously in favour. 

Election of New Committee Members: Then 

membership: Dr Yvonne Golding, proposed A.C. 

Golding was elected unanimously. 

Election of Auditors: The auditors, P.H. Ripley and Mrs 

auditors now that the Society is a charity as they are either c 

committee member. G.K. Hoare and Dr N.J. 

elected unanimously. 

Item 12 - HONORARY MEMBERSHIP: A proposal to award Honorary Membership to 

CR. Fraser- Jenkins, supported by a detailed statement setting out his contribution to 

pteridology, had been made by J.M. Camus and seconded by A.M. Paul. The Committee 

was delighted to support the proposal and in making the award, the President congratulated 

him. In reply, CR. Fraser- Jenkins, now resident in Nepal but currently visiting the UK, said 


was very happy to receive the award; it meant a great deal to him. He issued an 
>n to the Society and its members to visit Nepal, a homely fern garden! 
i - ANY OTHER BUSINESS: The President reported that Miss Rose S. Murphy 
n elected a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Horticultural Society had 
1 the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal to Martin H. Rickard. The congratulations of the 
would be sent to them both. 

formal matters for consideration the Chairman declared the meeting 

Notes to the Accounts 

1 . The accounts reflect the subscriptions actually received in 1 

2. BPS Booksales had assets of £5,712.60 (£5,361.24) at 31.1 

3. The Society also possesses the following assets: 
Back issues of the Bulletin, Fern Gazette and Pteridologist v 
Merchandise valued at approximately £1,200. 
Booksales has a computer valued at £600 in 2000. 

The Editor of Pteridologist has a computer valued at £1 , 1 33.99 in 2001 . 

4. The Society made no grants in 2002. 

5. The numbers of copies of publications are shown on either side of the title. 

Report of Independent Examiners 

(Since the Society is a registered charity with an annual turnover of less than £100,000 no audit 
is required but a formal examxru ,< ( harity Commission rules.) 

We report on the accounts of the Trust for the year ending 31st December 2002. 
Our Examination was carried out in accordance with the General Directions given by the 
t of the accounting records kept 
; presented with those records. It also 
i of any unusual items or disclosures in the accounts, and seeking 
explanations from the Committee as trustees concerning any such matters. The procedures 
undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and 
consequently we do not express an audit opinion on the view given by the accounts, 
i withe 

records in accordance with section 41 of the 1993 Act; and 
; which accord with the accounting records and comply wit] 
of the 1993 Act 

Dr N.J. Hards & G.K. Hoare 
19th September 2003 





Symposium 2001 


£36,424 ' 28 

Total Income 






Fem Gazette 






Printing & Stationery 





Plant & Spore Exchanges 






Symposium 200 1 



Special Interest Groups 



Archive Storage 






Brought forward from previous year 



Total in Ordinary Account 



Honorary Membership - C.R. Fraser- Jenkins 

At the tender age of nine, Chris started to identify ferns using The Observer 's Book of Ferns 
as his botanical bible. When at school at Radley College he met the late Hugh Corley who 
was already involved in researching the male fern group. It was Hugh who really introduced 
Chris to the detailed observations needed for fern research - frond shape will only get you 

texture all became standard tools. Chris continued his pursuit of ferns at the University of 

Chris started his collecting trips abroad shortly before he left school, going i 
Sweden, then with Martyn Rix to Turkey and Iran, and joined the BPS in 1966. Through 
the BPS meetings he met Clive Jermy at The Natural History Museum, and hence was 
fortunate to be awarded a Student Vacationship to study the Dryopteris villain group. 
Shortly afterwards he was able to join a cytology course run by Prof. I. Manton and John 
Lovis at Leeds where he met more important British pteridologists - Anne Sleep and Mary 
Gibby, and got confirmation that he 
D. filix-mas in the Caucasus. 

) Arctic 

the missing diploid ancestor of 


His long, free-lance career started through contact with Prof. T. Reichsteir 
chemist who had won the Nobel prize for his work on vitamin C. Re 
pteridology at the age of 75 and studied the chemistry of Dryopteris 
complexes. Reichstein financed many of Chris' collecting trips to obtain A 
work, allowing him to travel round the world looking" at Dnoptehs. , 

His work really expanded beyond European ferns when he first visited the Himalayas in 
1977 and encountered so many species and species-complexes that he realised he uould 
have to get to grips with all their relatives in China and Japan as well. Mary Gibby was now 
in post at The Natural History Museum and could help with cytological problems, and Prof 
C.-J. Widen at Helsinki, Finland, provided phytochemical analyses. The three worked in a 
complementary way as a very successful team. C live Jernn again assisted Chris" career by 
helping him to get a major fellowship from the Nuffield Foundation in 1979 and two Royal 
Society exchange visits in 1980 and 1982 with Academia Sinica in China. 
Since then he has continued his research with work on floristic projects such as Flora 
Iranica as well as monographic studies on Dryopteris, Potystichum, Athyrium and other 
genera, collaborating especially with Nepalese and Indian botanists. His publications now 
number well over seventy and he is the author of over 100 new names o: 

Chris has been an assiduous and gifted collector with a 
material, which has forwarded the insight into many fems, especially in the Dryopteris 
complexes. He is widely acknowledged as a world expert in Dryopteris, in fact he is the 
world expert in this genus. His publication "A monograph of Dryopteris (Pteridophyta. 
Dryopteridaceae) in the Indian subcontinent" maybe taken as a good example of his work. 
This paper is a model for fern taxonomy: it has keys to species, detailed descriptions, 
cytology, ecology, range, good black and white photographs, lists of material examined and 
very useful notes for each species. Very few fern botanists have achieved this high standard 
of presentation beyond the publication of their degree research, but this fine attention to 
important detail is typical of his work. 

His , 

• 30,000. These specimens are distributed among i 

herbaria in Europe and Asia but especially at The Natural History 1\ 
Museum of Wales (he first became associated with the latter in his childhood). His field 
experience of Asian pteridophytes is second to none. During the course of his fieldwork, 
especially in India, he has helped numerous Indian fern botanists with identifications, 
contacts and literature. He now has informal fern students in Nepal, Bhutan and 
Bangladesh. Gardens of many fern-lovers in the UK have been enriched with plants as a 
result of Chris' work. Major collections were held in, for example, Chelsea Physic Garden, 
Oxford Botanic Garden and in private gardens such as that of his late father, Derek, at 
Bridgend where he held the National Collection of Dryopteris - now in Martin Rickard's 

For the last ten years he has been resident in Nepal. In 2002 Alison Paul enabled Chris to 
receive a curation bursary from The Natural History Museum that allowed him to return 
there to identify and study Himalayan ferns. He was able to extend his stay in the UK to 
attend the 2003 AGM with his wife, Nirmala, and receive his Honorary J 



Richard Henry (Dick) Roberts, who has died aged 92, was one of the country's leading 

of the botanical interest of the Anglesey fens during the 1950s led directly 

Trust (now the North Wales Wildlife Trust) of which he was a proud c 

first General Secretary. In addition he had an internatk 

taxonomic expertise in Polypodium, Dactylorhiza (marsh orchids) and Mimulus 

(monkey flower). 

Born at Llanllechid, near Bangor, North Wales, in a strongly Welsh speaking 

community, Dick took an early interest in botany, encouraged no doubt by his mother's 

knowledge of herbal plants and his upbringing on the family hill farm. However, he 

received no formal instruction in botany at school or university and after graduation from 

University College of North Wales, Bangor, he began a lifetime's career as a primary 

school teacher. His first teaching post was in Sussex, followed by a spell in Evesham 

where he met and married Bet, who was his loving and supportive wife for 58 years. In 

1947 he was appointed to teach in Penmachno, which allowed him to study the mountain 

flora of Snowdonia, especially the area's ferns. Here he relished the opportunities to 

study the fine grained distribution patterns of plant species against the wide range of rock 

types. Finally, in 1955 and now with family, he moved to Bangor where he was a much 

respected head teacher until his retirement in 1974. 

Despite a heavy workload Dick was an active member of both the British Pteridological 

Society and the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) for almost 50 years. He was 

appointed BSBI Vice-County Recorder for Anglesey in 1955, a position he carried 

he made a number of significant additions to the island's flora, including Ophioglossum 
azoricum, Polypodium cambricum and all the polypody hybrids, Equisetum xfont-queri 
and E. x litorale, Pyrola maritima subsp. rotundifolia, and the marsh orchids 
Dactylorhiza traunsteineri and D. majalis subsp. cambrensis. As his interest in marsh 
orchids grew he undertook detailed morphometric studies which together with his keen 
appreciation of ecological factors gave him a unique field-based insight into this 
complex. And it was the same with the polypody ferns that he came to understand with 
great authority, ably distinguishing the cytotypes both in the field and after careful 
examination at home, regularly preparing sporangia or root tips to view under a 
microscope on the family's lounge table and thereby make accurate chromosome counts 
and cell measurements. He wrote a series of papers for The Fern Gazette and Watsonia 
clearly describing his findings in these fields and frequently accompanied by his own 
skilled botanical drawings. 

After extensive fieldwork Dick published The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Anglesey in 
1982, an invaluable guide to the island's plant life. An Atlas of Flowering Plants and Ferns 
of Anglesey, which he published privately in 2002, reveals the detailed extent of his 
knowledge of the distribution of species, both native and alien. 

Despite his commitments to Anglesey, Dick retained a keen and discerning interest in 
mainland botany, partly as a result of his long friendship with a fellow Caernarfonshire 
botanist, Evan Roberts of Capel Curig, and made notable contributions to our understanding 
of Dryopteris in Snowdonia. Additionally he contributed in a wider field by collaborating 
with specialists in plant genera such as Mimulus, Equisetum and Asplenium. As well as 


publishing almost 50 scientific articles and papers of his own, Dick has been tormcrlv 
acknowledged in 20 more. He has been given due recognition in the naming of two taxa 
Mimulus x robertsii and Equisetum x robertsii, the latter a hybrid horsetail discovered on 
Anglesey in 2002, a fitting tribute to a botanist with a keen eye for hybrids and a deep 

Dick was always happy to share his knowledge and experience, regularly advising 
university staff and students, professional conservationists and taxonomists, as well as 
fellow amateur botanists. He acted as a referee for the BSBI for Pofypodium, 
Dactylorhiza and Mimulus, with a worthy reputation for his prompt, informative and 
courteous responses. 

During the 1950s and 1960s Dick became increasingly involved with conservation as he 
witnessed first hand the changes to the landscape and wildlife of North Wales wrought by 
fanning, forestry and tourism. He teamed up with Bill Lacey, a Senior Lecturer in the 
Botany Department in the University at Bangor to save a fine wetland in the east of 
Anglesey known as Cors Goch from becoming a rubbish dump and this action led the two 
' Trust and a long friendship that was to serve 

e University at Bangor developed strongly and in 
recognition of his botanical scholarship and services to plant conservation he was awarded 
an Honorary MSc by the University of Wales in 1979. He became an Honorary Member of 
the BSBI and was awarded the Linnean Society's prestigious HH Bloomer Medal for 
i 1999. 

Despite such accolades R.H. Roberts was i 

work quietly without acknowledgement. 

archaeology, Welsh history and poetry, and even Welsh Mountain sheep breeding. Above 

all he loved his family and to his wife, Bet and their two daughters Pat and Anne and the 

wider family we extend our condolences. 

There is no doubt that in his combined knowledge of the flora, history and environment of 

North Wales R.H. Roberts was unsurpassed in his lifetime and has continued the fine 

tradition of Welsh natural historians. 

Nigel Brown 
(with grateful thanks to Bet Roberts and Ian Bonner for information and comment) 


Graham Thomas was born on the 3rd of April 1909 and died on the 16th of April 2003. 
Over this long life he made a very significant contribution to gardening in general, with 
some valuable input into the world of ferns. I well remember being recommended his book 
The Modern Florilegium, published in 1976. In it he gives a very full list of garden ferns 
together with some useful notes about each. According to The Modern Florilegium his 
favourite fern was Dryopteris wa/lichiana, in fact he considered it one of the most 
magnificent of all garden plants. Many years later I had the pleasure of meeting Graham 
several times at the Chelsea Flower Show when he confirmed that he still rated 
D. wallichiana one of the best. 

During my stint as Editor of the BPS Bulletin I had the good fortune to be able to publish 
one article by Graham on some evergreen ferns hardy in Britain (1981). Sadly, I believe this 
was his only contribution to the Society's journals. He joined our Society in 1964 and 
"ue partly also to his 

dislike of some of the fancy cultivars so much enjoyed by many of us - me included! We 
laughed about this in later years! 

Graham wrote many books and achieved much in the world of horticulture, notably being 
s and a fuller obituary 

Martin Rickard 


We were also sorry to learn of the death of the following members: 

Mr Brian P. Haskins of Cheshire, who joined the Society in 1982. 

Mr William H. Keatley of Devon, who joined the Society in 1993. 

Mr Barry OUerenshaw of Cheshire, who joined the Society in 1999. 

Mr R. Martin Riemer of Dusseldorf, Germany, who joined the Society in 1972. 

Mrs Antonia Surman-Wells of East Sussex, who joined the Society in 1999. 


iew members 2003, ** new members 2004, # members rejoined 2002, ## members rejoined 2003 

Addington, Mrs M, 69 Clarendon Gardens, Ilford, Essex IG1 3JVV 

Adesoji, Mr O., Botany Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State 

00234, Nigeria 
Arnanz Ayuso, Mr S., Paseo del Prado no. 1 , Talavero De La Reina, Toledo 45600, Spain 
Arnold. \ir J.. 5<) Seabrook, Luton, Beds. LU4 OEJ 

Baxter, Mr W.D., 307 Riverdale Cir., Stephenson, Virginia, 22656-2120, USA 
Berry, Mrs R., 44 Green Lane, Lancaster, Lanes. LAI 2EZ 
Burton, Mr R., 29 Whitehouse Avenue, Loughborough, Leics. LEI 1 2PN 
Chen, MrC.C, No. 12, Lai ian, Taiwan 325, RoC 

i )■ ... 

J., 25 Main I * . Banbury, Oxon OX1 7 2ND 

Stallis Cottage, 4 Royal Oak I Banbury, Oxon OX 17 2LX 

., 3 Roedeer Copse, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 1RF 

Mrs M., 49 W ( n ■ . , ,d, Shinfield, Reading, Berks. RG92 8SY 

tame, ur w.M.M burgh EH6 4BH, Scotland 

Edwards, Mr G.G.. i 4 North 1 eus. I p:vr Largo, Leven, Fife KY8 6ER, Scotland 

Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR6 8NL 

Venn Bridge Lodge, Venn I hop, Devon EX6 6HD 

Filet, Mr G, de chez Bardin, Sam 87160, France 

er M30 0NU 

Berks. SL6 2HL 
Gerrard, MsS.P. &DrR.P 
Godfrey, Mr C.L., 14 Torn 

Golding, Mr R., 50A Bullingdon Road, Oxford, Oxon OX4 lQj' 
Golding, Mr R.L. & Mrs G, 30 Millbrook Road, Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan CF64 

4DA, Wales 
Hamilton-Scott, Mr P.J., 42 Ridgeside, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 1PB 
Harding, Mr DA., Cedar House. I nmgham B45 8JA 

Harris, Mr R.J. & Mrs B.V., Ash Beacon, Chin n EX13 7LZ 

Hawkes, Mr M.J., Preston Grange ate. RG25 2EP 

Higham, Mr PA., 17 Alexandra Drive, Bootle, Merseyside L20 0EE 
Hughes, Miss A., 88b Winchester Road, Southampton, Hants. SO 16 6US 
Hyvarinen, Mr A., Toivoniementie 1 1 AS 20, Oulu, 90500, Finland 
Jamieson, Mr A., 4 West Grove, Sale, Cheshire M33 3 EX 
Jeffery, Mr I.C., 5 Sandmartin Lane, Norton, Stockton-On-Tees, TS20 1LR 
Kaye, Dr M.G., 5 Oxford Road, Farnborough, Hants. GUI 4 6QT 
Lamont, Mr S., 1/2 Harbourne Road, Kingsford, New South Wales 2032, Australia 
Laney, Mr B.J., 5 South Close, Long Buckby, Northants. NN6 7PX 
Law, Mr L, 43 Shanklin Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 3LP 
Lawson, Mr R., 42 Marine Road, Port Bannatyne, Isle of Bute, PA20 0LW, Scotland 
Limberger, Mr W., Siedlungsstr. 13, Ottensheim, 4100, Austria 

Macer, Mr N.J., Kenton, Cowle Road, Stroud, Glos. GL5 2JR 
MacGregor, Mr A.S., 58 Hawthorn Avenue, Bearsden, Glasgow. G61 3NQ, Scotland 
*Martz, Mr J., Burgschmietstr. 7, Nuernberg. D 90419. Germany 
May, Miss T.L., 144 Rosehi : ' 

Moon. Mr K.G., Applewood Hou Kent TN27 OLU 

sity Library, No.l, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd, Taipei 106, Taiwan. RoC 
Newman, Mrs C.H. & Mr G.D., Warrens Cottage, Pour [too, Devon 

EX14 9QB 
Norman, Mrs S.M.. h\ Croft, Ishire HR6 OJN 

Ococks, Mr S.R. & Mrs R.M., 49 Parr Lane, Eccleston, Chorley, Lanes. PR7 5SL 
Outcalt.DrMl I 05 Wc-Mfield Court West (in "M.USA 

**Reid, Mr A., Windyhaugh. Crarae. Furnace. ln\erar\. Argyll PA32 8YA. Scotland 
Rose, Mr M.H.W A; Mrs i M.. Kilraxock Gardens.'Durrus, Co.Cork, Ireland 
Rowland, Mr N.A., Long Acre Cottage, South Marsh, Charlton Musgrove, Wincanton. 

Somerset, BA9 8EX 
Salmon, Mr D.P., Parkview House, 49 Baronsmead Roa . ks. HP12 3PG 

Sekerka, Dr P 1 34, Praha 7,171 00, Czech Republic 

skcltoi Ms I \ I SPa. SW20 9HF 

Smart, Mr D., 3 Silver Terrace, Exeter, Devon EX4 4JE 

Smith, Dr A.J.E., 5 Queens Gardens. Llandudno, Conwy LL30 1RW, ' 

Squire, DrG.R. & Mrs K.M.. 1 Millhill Cottages, li ' 

Stasiak, Mr F., 12 Rue Gustave S 

Stringer, Dr R.N , Dyfed SA 1 7 4TY, Wales 

^Struck, Prof. Dr P., Bornstrasse 25, Hamburg 13. D-20146, Germany 

Taylor, Mrs C.E., 8 Esperanza ( ill TR1 1 2TS 

GwyneddLL53 8YH, Wales 
Is M.M., 124 Tottenhall Road, London N13 6DG 

Troy, Mr MA.. ad. Montenotte, Co.Cork, Eire 

* Veismanis, Mr A., Apes 6-6, Aluksne, LV-4301, Latvia 

Webb. Miss l AI.. laurel t ottaue. Ruddle =11 PL26 8XF 

Wilkins. MrsC I all TRIO 9ET 

v . ... /. ■ : , v. ',-,■. :■: ■■:'! 

Zanglein, Mis 


Adam, Mrs S.K., 7 Elm Road, Ewell Village, Surrey KT17 2EU 

Ashcroft, Dr C, 20 Ivy green Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9ET 

t, Luton, Beds. LU1 3SE 
Barker, Dr J.H.A., Crop Pea ; Kothamsted Research, 

Harpenden, Herts. AL5 2JQ 
Been . Mr E.. 2 Parkfield Road, Calverley, Pudsey, West Yorkshire LS28 5 PS 
Berrie, Mrs A., 7 Bench Tor CK 02 ^SH 

Border, Mr M.G., 118 Westfield Lane, St-1 Sussex TN37 7NQ 

id = Real Jardin Botanico. Bib: . 2. Madrid, 28014, Spain 

Hopkinson, Mrs H.M., Friesian Farm, Barrow Road, Barton Upon Humber, East Yorks. DN1 8 6DA 
Law s, Dr H , P( ) Box 352, 1 7008, Australia 

Lovis, Prof. J.D., School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, 

» 3010, ; 

..— ,DrT., . _' . 

Needham. Mr R \ rd, Glos. GL14 3LL 

Nelson, Mr M.A . Meld, West Sussex RH16 2HP 

Nielsen, Mr J.H., Eembanegade 39 2TH, Nykobing, 4800, Denmark 
Palacios Rios, Ms M., Depto. Sistematica Vegetal, Instituto de Ecologia,A.C, Apartado P 

63, Xalapa, Veracruz 91500, Mexico 
Partridge, Mr R.G., 4 Oakhurst, 21 The Knoll, Beckenham, Kent BR3 5UD 
Piearce. Dr I.G., 9 Hawthorn Close, Brook LA2 9NR 

K M., 9 Forth Avenue, Larbert, Stirlingshire FK5 4NH, Scotland 
Runk, Mrs K., Mooni 4, Tartu, 50412, Estonia 
Schippers, Mr R.R.. De Boeier 7. 3742 Gd Baarn, The Netherlands 
Stnnger, Mr G., 179 Red Lane, Breightmet, Bolton, Lanes. BL2 5HP 
I Qiversiteit Gent straat 35, Gent, B-9000, Belgiur, 

Vulcz, Mr L., Mr Fern Pty Ltd, 260 Amiets Road, Wyelangta, Victoria 3237, Australia 
Weedon, Mr G., 8 Cathay Garden Hants. S045 5TY 


Meetings Secretary: P.J. Acock 

Meetings Subcommittee: R.G. Ackers, N.J. Hards, J.M. Ide, A. Leonard, P.H. Ripley 

Thurs. 8 - Mon. 19 Jan. Overseas Field Meeting - Trinidad, West Indies 

Leaders: Yasmin Baksh-Comeau & Graham Ackers 
Sat. 20 March Spring Meeting & AGM - Natural History Museum, London 

Leader: Graham Ackers 

Sat. 1 2 - Sun. 1 3 June Weekend Field Meeting - New Forest, Hampshire 

Leader: Andrew Leonard 

Fri. 25 - Mon. 28 June Long Weekend Field Meeting - Isles of Scilly 

Leader: Ian Bennallick 

Mon. 12 - Fri. 16 July international Pteridophyte Symposium, Edinburgh 

Organiser: Mary Gibby et al. 

Sat. 1 7 - Mon. 1 9 July Long Weekend Field Meeting - Glasgow & SW Scotland 

Leader: Frank McGavigan 

Sat. 3 1 July - Sun. 1 Aug. Weekend Field Meeting - South Shropshire 

Leaders: Clive Jermy & Martin Rickard 

Thurs. 19 - Sun. 22 Aug. *Southport Flower Show: BPS Stand 

Further Info.: Matt Busby 
Sat. 20 Nov. Autumn Meeting on Fern Reproduction - Reading University 

Leader: Jennifer Ide 

28 June - 8 July 2005 Overseas Field Meeting with Hardy Fern Foundation - 

Philadelphia, USA 

Organiser: John Scott 


* Event supported by, but not organised by, the BPS. 

For further details of these and other meetings of interest to members, including information 

on accommodation, please see the separate Meetings Programme sheet. This can be sent to 

Regional Meetings 

For details of additional meetings in the following areas, please contact the regional 

organisers, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope. 

Leeds & District B. Wright, 1 30 Prince Rupert Drive, Tockwith, York Y026 7PU 

South-East England P.H. Ripley, North Lodge, Dene Park Gardens, Shipbourne Road, 

Tonbridge, Kent TNI 1 9NS; e-mail: 
East Anglia B.R Stevenson, Willow Cottage, Cowlinge, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 9QB 

North-West England Mrs F. Haigh, 56 Church Street, Milnthorpe, Cumbria LA7 7DZ 

Cornwall I.J. Bennallick, Lower Polmorla St, Wenn, Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5PE 

Scotland F. McGavigan, 12 Glenbank Avenue, Lenzie, Glasgow G66 5AA 


DISCLAIMER: Views expressed by contributors to The British Pteridological 
Society Bulletin are not necessarily those of the British Pteridological Society. 

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Catalogue on request 


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Catalogue on request 


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Carreg y Fedwen, Sling, Tregarth, nr Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4RP 

Please send stamped addressed envelope for list 


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Judith Jones 

P.O. Box 1090, Gold Bar, Washington 98251, USA 

Send two International Reply Coupons for catalogue 


R.N. Timm 

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Please send stamped addressed envelope for list 


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