Monday, 13 May 2013

Review: 'Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America' by Boughton Cobb, et. al.

Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America, by Boughton Cobb, Elizabeth Farnsworth, and Cheryl Lowe, Illustrated by Laura Louise Foster and Elizabeth Farnsworth, 2005, Houghton Mifflin, $20.00, softbound, 417 pages. Category/Genre: reference. Cover: well done. Where we got it: prezzie. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Another of Peterson Field Guide's wonderful books. Filled with fascinating facts, photos, and diagrams, Ferns takes the reader into the world of green things which populate woods and back yards all over the country.

The authors describe the life cycle of a fern (which reproduces from spores instead of seeds), the relationships of ferns in the plant kingdom, and give the names of ferns, as well as going into fern habitats and conservation. The morphology of a fern is particularly interesting, and has drawings and descriptions of the various parts of a fern. 

The book is then divided into true ferns and fern relatives, after which we learn something about the cultural history of ferns, and about ferns in the garden. Useful web sites are included, as well as a glossary and bibliography.  

Most of the photos and drawings in this book are disappointingly small, and there sadly isn't a photo or drawing for every fern in the book . . . but the rest of the book makes up for it. 

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