Quite an uncommon fern in Ireland, this plant is mainly confined to the western half of the country and in particular the Burren and the Aran Islands. It is extremely attractive with delicate light-green, fan-shaped, leaf-segments. These leaf-segments are arranged in clusters, on slender, shiny, black stalks, and the sori (or clusters of spores) are found close to the reflexed leaf-margins on the back of the leaves, from June to September. An evergreen plant, it can reach 30 cm high, growing in grykes or fissures in the limestone pavements of the Burren, the Aran islands and in the north-west. A native plant, it belongs to the Pteridaceae or Ribbon Fern family.
My first record of this plant is from the Burren, Co Clare in 1980 and I photographed it there in 2005 and again in 2014.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre