Parsley fern

Parsley fern

Parsley fern ©Dr Malcolm Storey

Parsley fern

Scientific name: Cryptogramma crispa
Parsley fern lives up to its name - the pale green fronds form in clusters among rocks and look just like parsley. Look out for it in upland areas, particularly in Wales and Cumbria.

Species information


Height: 40cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Parsley fern is a medium-sized, bushy fern of rocky places on hillsides and slopes in the uplands. It is widespread, but generally quite scarce, apart from in Snowdonia and the Lake District.

How to identify

Parsley fern has pale green fronds that form clustered tufts. It grows two different kinds of leaves: the spore-producing, fertile fronds, which have narrow, oval leaf sections; and the sterile fronds, which look just like Parsley.


Found in the uplands of northern England, Scotland and Wales.

Did you know?

Globally, there are about 12,000 species of fern which, unlike mosses, are vascular plants so have special tissues to carry nutrients and fluids. However, they are similar to mosses in the way they reproduce using spores.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.