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continued from front flap ISBN 1-56164-193-6 $27.

plant classification, and an illustrated intro- The The Ferns of Florida
duction to fern morphology and the fern life
Many of Florida's ferns are common, wide-
The Ferns of Florida
Gil Nelson
FERNS of FLORIDA A Reference and Field Guide

spread, and easily recognized plants that are well
by Gil Nelson

known to plant enthusiasts. The cinnamon fern
pictured on the cover, its close relative the royal
fern, and several of the maiden ferns of the
With Over 200 Color Photographs by the Author

t least 163 kinds of ferns have been recorded in Florida. From northern
T he study of ferns is an exciting and
rewarding botanical adventure—espe-
genus Thelypteris are good examples. Others
are very limited in distribution and known in the
United States only from Florida. The hanging
fir-moss, an epiphytic fern ally found in only
A species whose southern ranges extend into the rolling uplands of the state's
northern tier to tropical treasures that spill over the state's southern tip,
Florida is without parallel in fern diversity and number. No other like-sized region
cially in Florida. With arguably the richest
assortment of fern species of any of the con-
tinental states, few other geographic regions
offer as many opportunities to learn about
of the continental United States can boast such an expanded assortment.
two or three locations in the Fakahatchee Strand, these delicate and fascinating plants.
and the ray-spiked fern, a tiny denizen of tree This field guide is the first in 25 years to treat this amazing variety of ferns. The Ferns of Florida is the first field
islands in Loxahatchee National Wildlife Following in the tradition of John K. Small's 1931 Ferns of Florida, and Robert guide in 25 years to offer a comprehensive
Long and Olga Lakela's 1976 edition of the same name, this new volume catalogs
Refuge, are two of the rarest. treatment of this remarkable collection of
and illustrates all of Florida's native and naturalized fern species. Color plates
Some of our ferns, such as the ebony feature more than 200 images, some of which include rare species never before plants and the only guide so richly illustrat-
spleenwort and the wild Boston fern, prefer illustrated in color. Rare and hard-to-find species such as some of our spleen- ed with color photographs. It provides
primarily terrestrial habitats and are most often worts and filmy ferns are included, as well as such common species as the cinna- descriptions and illustrations of more than
found growing directly from the ground. mon fern pictured on the front cover. 160 types of ferns, including 203 color pho-
Others, such as several of the delicate maiden tographs by the author. The book incorpo-
Clearly written detailed descriptions, along with helpful identification tips and a
hairs and rock-loving spleenworts, prefer lime- selection of botanical keys––all of which are based on field observations––help rates all of the native and naturalized ferns
stone where they can weave their tiny roots into readers identify plants in the wild. Also included are notes on each species' that are known (or in some cases were previ-
weathered cracks and crevices. Still others growth form and habitat, as well as general remarks about its botanical and com- ously known) to occur in the state.
attach themselves to the bark of trees. The res- mon names, unique characteristics, garden use, and history in Florida. Written from the author's own field
urrection fern, found in every Florida county, is experience, this book is especially useful for
Other important features of the book include a complete glossary, a section on the

probably the best known of these species, but those who wish to know the ferns in their
fern life cycle and structure, a history of fern study in Florida, a discussion of some
goldfoot fern, shoestring fern, and the plume of the state's best natural ferneries, and an extensive bibliography. natural habitats, but it will also be helpful to
polypody, also follow this habit. home gardeners in selecting plants for their
Some of Florida's ferns are essentially All professional or amateur botanists, plant lovers, and gardeners will want to personal ferneries. The photographs and line
tropical in nature and are found only in the have this important book in their libraries. illustrations show unique identifying fea-
state's southernmost tip, while others are tures, and the descriptions offer numerous
found only at the state's temperate northern Gil Nelson, who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, is a naturalist, writer, tips for distinguishing among similar species
and a research associate at Florida State University. He is a director at
extreme. At least four occur only in Florida, large of the Florida Native Plant Society, is president of the Magnolia in the wild. Clearly written botanical keys
and 53 are protected as endangered, threat- Chapter, and is a member of the American Fern Society. He often lead readers to each of the major fern fami-
ened, or commercially exploited. Another six, speaks and leads field trips for such organizations as the Sierra Club, lies, and subsidiary keys help users distin-
the Florida Native Plant Society, and the Audubon Society. He is also
which grow agressively and destroy native the author of the other books in this series, The Trees of Florida and guish among the species in the larger and
flora, are included on the list of the state's The Shrubs and Woody Vines of Florida, as well as Exploring Wild more confusing genera and families. A com-
invasive exotic species. North Florida and Exploring Wild Northeast Florida, all published by prehensive glossary makes unknown
Regardless of your level of expertise, the Pineapple Press.
descriptive terms accessible, and an exten-
region of the state in which you pursue your sive bibliography encourages further study.
explorations, or whether your inclination tilts
Front cover photo of the cin-
namon fern and back cover
A REFERENCE AND FIELD GUIDE There is an extensive introduction that
more toward field botany or gardening, this
book will prove indispensable in your study of
photo of the bulbous adder's
tongue by Gil Nelson. Pineapple
Gil Nelson outlines the history of fern study in Florida,
as well as provides notes about fern conser-
Press, Inc.
Florida's amazing variety of ferns. Published by vation and fern gardening, a discussion of
Pineapple Press, Inc. continued on back flap
Sarasota, FL