by Sharon LaPlante
Finally a book on ferns! Gil Nelson has done it again with another wonderful native plant identification guide - The Ferns of Florida.
book is a 'must have' for any Florida native plant or fern enthusiast, and if
you are neither you may become one after reading just the introduction.
Here Gil addresses the history of ferns, fern conservation, fern
gardening, the classification of ferns, plant classification, the language of
botany, fern morphology, the fern life cycle, and fern hybridization.
Inspirational and informational to say the least!
Gil has made this book inspirational yet scientific - a
perfect addition to the library of both the novice or botanist.
narrative on the 2-3 acre site in Citrus County, discovered by A.H. Curtiss in
1902 and later described by Roland Harper, describes a hammock at the edge of a
river swamp where "cliffs, chasms, and grottoes" were teaming with
rare ferns, gave me the inspiration to go experience it for myself - only to
learn that the previous owner of the property had destroyed the grottoes.
Fortunately, the appendix covers parks, forests, and refuges in Florida
with existing fern populations that can be visited.
out ferns is easy as pie with the included key and glossary.
Let me warn you - if you're unfamiliar with fern terminology you should
study before you attempt to key the ferns.
As with any botanical key, the ease of use (mine at least) depends upon
ones mastery of the glossary.
of my favorite parts of the book is the section of color plates.
It is difficult to find a photographical reference of many of these
species, therefore these are especially appreciated.
I envy the trips into the field that Gil made to photograph the ferns
that many of us otherwise may not get the chance to see.
This is an invaluable addition to your field guide and identification manual library.
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