Scientific name: Asplenium ruta-muraria
With club-shaped leaflets on its fronds, wall-rue is easy to spot as it grows out of crevices in walls. Plant it in your garden rockery to provide cover for insects.

Species information


Height: up to 20cm

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


Wall-rue is a small fern that can be found growing on limestone rocks and in crevices in old walls throughout town and country. It is often found close to other common species of rocks and walls, such as maidenhair spleenwort and hart's-tongue fern.
Wall-rue, like other ferns, reproduce using spores, which ripen from June to October.

How to identify

Wall-rue is an easily recognisable fern, with club-shaped leaflets that appear in groups of three on the frond. One of the commonest ferns on walls, it can be seen growing in tufts out of old mortar.



Did you know?

Providing an informal rockery in your garden is great for all kinds of wildlife from toads and newts to spiders and beetles. In turn, these will attract birds and small mammals looking for food. Use larger pieces of stone and rock (acquired from a sustainable source) to create the rockery, leaving space for animals to crawl under. Plant native species like ferns, heathers or herbs to provide food and shelter for minibeasts.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.