Polystichum aculeatum - Hard Shield-fern
Good material of Hard Shield-fern was found in Cornwall in 1994, the plants growing in hollows at the base of an old mortared wall at Phoenix United Mine, near Minions (SX27R, M.Atkinson). Many of the earlier records for this species are extremely doubtful but the material from St. Dominic and Carkeel in SX46 (1868 and 1875) and that for Wendron in SW63 (1875) are correct. As this fern requires base-rich conditions its rarity in Cornwall is understandable. Further records have now been made and confirmed and these are all in East Cornwall. They are from Trefrize Mill and Armstrong Wood on the River Inny (SX37D, 1996, M.Atkinson), Kit Hill, near Callington (SW37W, 1996, M.Atkinson), a shaded hedgebank near Crossgate (SX38P, 1998, I.J.Bennallick) and near Lammerhooe Ford (SX47B, 1996, M.Atkinson).
Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick
French, C.N., Murphy, R.J. & Atkinson, M. 1999. Flora of Cornwall. Wheal Seton Press, Camborne.