Athyrium distentifolium

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Alpine lady-fern
Athyrium distentifolium Moore7.png
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Suborder: Aspleniineae
Family: Athyriaceae
Genus: Athyrium
A. distentifolium
Binomial name
Athyrium distentifolium
Tausch ex Opiz

Athyrium distentifolium commonly known as alpine lady-fern is a fern found in widely in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is a common upland variety above 600 metres in the Highlands of Scotland, with more than 10% of the UK population being found in the Cairngorm mountains, especially on scree slopes in Glen Feshie, and on Ben Avon, Ben MacDui and Beinn a' Bhùird. Regarded as nationally scarce, it is a snow-tolerant species. The stunted form var. flexile, which is found at 750 metres and above, is found at only 4 sites and is endemic to Scotland.[1][2][3]

The subspecies americanum is found in the western United States, Alaska, Canada and coastal Greenland.[4]


  1. ^ Ratcliffe, Derek (1977) Highland Flora. Inverness. HIDB. pp. 67 and 82.
  2. ^ 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. 75 and 218-35.
  3. ^ "Species Action Plan: Newman's Lady Fern (Athyrium flexile)" Archived October 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine BAP. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
  4. ^ "Plants Profile: Athyrium americanum" USDA Retrieved 24 June 2008.

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