Flora of Northern Ireland
Dryopteris oreades
(Map updated: March 2008)

This is one of Ireland's rarest ferns, only known from two mountains, one of which is Eagle Mountain in the Mourne Mountains of Co. Down where it was known to grow at about 1500 feet on the granite cliffs. It has not been seen there in recent years.

Despite its common name it is not significantly smaller than the Common Male-Fern, which it resembles in appearance.

This species is also one of the parent species (the other is D. filix-mas) of a much commoner fern of hybrid origin - Dryopteris affinis subsp. cambrensis, which is abundant in mountain districts across Northern Ireland.

All names: Dryopteris oreades Fomin; Dryopteris abbreviata auct. non DC.; Dryopteris filix-mas var. abbreviata Newm.