This is a fern, which like many similar ferns, remains green throughout winter. In spring it produces fresh bright green fertile leaves which contrast with the darker and sterile leaves of the preceding year. The pinnate, comb-like sterile leaves (10-15cm long) spread in a rosette with the young spore-producing leaves growing erectly in the centre, the apex being coiled tightly initially. This fern is frequently found on acid soil, along shaded ditches and in mountains. It belongs to the family Blechnaceae.
I first recorded this plant in Glenmalure, Co Wicklow in 1996 and photographed it at Laragh, Co Wicklow in 2007.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre