Soft Shield Fern - Polystichum setiferum
Polystichum setiferum is a tufted evergreen fern to 1.2 metres in height, with rosettes of soft textured, lance-shaped mid-green fronds, the stalks with prominent orange-brown scales. The leaves are 1-pinnate, but with deeply-lobed pinnae, so the fern has a finely divided appearance. The pinnules closest to the stem or rhachis are shortly stalked, with the blade more or less right-angled at base.
Hard Shield-fern (Polystichum aculeatum)
Pinnules with fine points, drawn out into 'whiskers'. The right-angled base of the mature pinnules closest to the rhachis, in the centre of the frond, is characteristic; softer in feel than Hard Shield-fern
A good photo of the fronds is needed for verification
Often found in wooded areas or near water. It prefers cool, fertile, moist, humus-rich, shaded soils.
All year round.
Widespread in Britain except for the north of Scotland.
Occasional but probably increasing in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 12 of the 617 tetrads.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015