Fern identification

Online fern ID course for beginners

Launched in 2021, Joshua Styles' very popular online fern ID course is available to all members and non-members wanting to improve their pteridology ID skills!

The fern course followed on from Joshua's online Dandelion ID course. Now, this one-hour course is available as a video link and aims to get you started with fern ID.

Use the buttons below to pay the small course fee (£5 or €6) for the fern ID video, which lasts around one hour. Once your payment has been received, you will immediately receive a link to the training video, which you can then access as many times as you like.

*Please note that there are two references to donations in the form. The initial payment of £5/€6 represents the course fee, with any amount above this given as a donation towards the work of the BSBI.

If you experience any issues with accessing the video, please contact us.

BSBI Plant Cribs

From the BSBI Plant Crib, you can view or download individual cribs to help you identify ferns in the following genera or groups:

Fern Galleries

The West Highland Flora website contains correctly identified images and ID notes for many of the native ferns found across Britain and Ireland. Take a look too at the plant ID: getting started page on this website where you will find links to many other websites with correctly identified images of British and Irish wild plants, including ferns.

Britain's Ferns

If you're looking for a book to help you get started with Fern ID, check out Britain's Ferns by James Merryweather, published by WildGuides/ Princeton University Press. It won the 2021 Presidents' Award which is awarded jointly by the Presidents of the BSBI and the Wild Flower Society.

British Pteridological Society

Our sister society, the British Pteridological Society, has some excellent online resources to help you learn more about ferns, and many are freely available to non-members. Try their Identification page with a Key to Common British Native Ferns; there's also a Glossary to help you understand fern-related terms.