Athyrium flexile

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Newman's Lady-fern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Pteridophyta
Order: Athyriales
Family: Woodsiaceae
Genus: Athyrium
Species: A. flexile
Binomial name
Athyrium flexile
Tausch ex Opiz[1]

Athyrium flexile, commonly known as Newman's Lady-fern, is a fern endemic to Scotland.

It is an upland variety typically found above 750 metres on screes made up of siliceous rocks such as quartzite and granite in the Highlands where it is found at only four sites.[2][3] It is a snow-tolerant species, the snow lie protecting it from frosts.

Athyrium flexile is a stunted variety of Alpine Lady-fern A. distentifolium, a single gene mutation accounting for the difference between the two.[4] It is considered by some experts to be a variant of Alpine Lady-fern (Athyrium distentifolium var flexile) rather than a distinct species.[1][2][5]

Regarded as nationally scarce and vulnerable, more than 75% of the population is found in the high Cairngorm mountains including the boulder field plateau of Braeriach and in upper Glen Doll. It is found as high as 900 metres in Glen Einich.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Scottish Biodiversity List - Species & Habitat Detail" Biodiversity Scotland. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Species Action Plan: Newman's Lady Fern (Athyrium flexile)" BAP. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  3. ^ "Habitat account - Rocky habitats and caves: 8110 Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)". JNCC. Retrieved 1 June 2008.
  4. ^ McHaffie, H. S.; Legg, C. J.; and Ennos, R. A. (December 2001) "A Single Gene with Pleiotropic Effects Accounts for the Scottish Endemic Taxon Athyrium distentifolium var. flexile" New Phytologist, 152 No. 3 pp. 491-500. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b Shaw, Philip and Thompson, Des (eds.) (2006) The Nature of the Cairngorms: Diversity in a changing environment. Edinburgh. The Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-497326-1. pp. 221 and 233-34.
  6. ^ "Altitudinal limits of British and Irish vascular plants" (rtf) Botanical Society of the British Isles. Retrieved 29 June 2008.