RIGID BUCKLER FERN on Hutton Roof



Some recent Blogs with quick links:- 
Crossbills (chicks in late December etc)


Dryopteris sub-montana - Rigid Buckler Fern

Hutton Roof Crags was listed No. 193 of the original Rothschild Nature Reserves

And here is how it was listed on the original document:


"A piece of typical primeval Country = Limestone formation"

A locality for 'Lastrea rigida' (Rigid Buckler Fern) and 'Polygonatum odoratum' (Angular Solomon's Seal).  Hutton Roof Crags those days was owned by Lady Henry Cavendish Bentinck of Underlay Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale (Earl of Lonsdale, Whitehaven Castle, Cumberland).

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Some later notes more recently added by Cumbria Wildlife Trust:


An area in Westmorland (now Cumbria) considered by the SPNR to be a "typical limestone formation" and of geological and botanical significance.  It was the only limestone pavement site on Rothschild's list and the SPNR noted it as a location for specialist plants such as Angular Solomon's Seal and the Rigid Buckler Fern.  Like other limestone pavement sites it has been damaged by some removal of stone but it is now protected as a nature reserve managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and still contains some of the finest areas of limestone pavement in Britain.  Today Hutton Roof Crags holds SSSI status. 

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A feature of sub-montana which has always helped me with diagnosis is the mature fronds seem to have the slightest of a twist within them on the vertical.  Another feature that helps me is the colour or shade of green which can have a sort of blue/green wash in contrast to other greens, but this is not always noticed straight away.

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Emergence 2019

 Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Crag Farm side of Dalton Crags April 2019


 Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Crag Farm side of Dalton Crags April 2019


 Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Dalton Crags 20th April 2019


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Dalton Crags 20th April 2019


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) at top of photo and
Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) to bottom of photo.
Photo: 22nd May 2017


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) is a very important fern species to Hutton Roof. Hutton Roof is it's stronghold for the UK.  Because of this particular species and jointly with the flora species called Polygonatum odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) Hutton Roof and it's limestone pavements received special importance many years ago when Hutton Roof was selected as No.193 of the "Rothchild reserves". This later helped to give it's status as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which it still retains today.


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Hutton Roof 17th May 2018

(above) Fresh emergence and showing croziers



Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge

Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: taken on 12th June 2013

Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: taken on 2nd June 2014


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: taken on 2nd June 2014

This photo (above) in particular for me highlights what I was saying about the "twist" in the fronds on the vertical, you can see the twist which run totally in different directions throughout the group.

Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: taken on 1st June 2017

Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th June 2012

sub-montana oddities

A collage photo showing a strange Dryopertis submontana which I found see below


 Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
This is a unusual frond of a 'submontana' - In the photos below
they show the difference to a nearby plant
Photo: taken on 12th June 2013 at the top of Lancelot Clark Storth


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
This is a unusual frond of a 'submontana' - In this photos above
they show the difference to a nearby normal plant on the left side
Photo: taken on 12th June 2013 at the top of Lancelot Clark Storth 


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
This is a unusual frond of a 'submontana' (left side and above) - In this photo above
it shows the difference compared to a normal plant on the right 
Photo: taken on 12th June 2013 at the top of Lancelot Clark Storth

 Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th June 2012 - Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
Another unusual submontana


 Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th June 2012 - Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
Another unusual submontana


 Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th June 2012 - Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
Another unusual submontana


Dryopteris submontana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: 25th June 2012 - Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
Another unusual submontana

Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Holme Park Fell, Farleton, Hutton Roof on 3rd June 2019

Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Holme Park Fell, Farleton, Hutton Roof on 3rd June 2019

Dryopteris sub-montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
Photo: Holme Park Fell, Farleton, Hutton Roof on 3rd June 2019