Page:Parsons How to Know the Ferns 7th ed.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


of ferns, has received but little attention in this country. Within the last few years we have been supplied with excellent and inexpensive hand-books to our birds, butterflies, trees, and flowers. But so far as I know, with the exception of Mr. Williamson's little volume on the "Ferns of Kentucky," we have no book with sufficient text and illustrations within the reach of the brains and purse of the average fern-lover. In England one finds books of all sizes and prices on the English ferns, while our beautiful American ferns are almost unknown, owing probably to the lack of attractive and inexpensive fern literature. Eaton's finely illustrated work on the "Ferns of North America" is entirely out of the question on account of its expense; and the "Illustrated Flora" of Britton & Brown is also beyond the reach of the ordinary plant-lover. Miss Price's "Fern Collectors' Hand-book" is helpful, but it is without descriptive text. "Our Native Ferns and their Allies," by Mr. Underwood, is exhaustive and authoritative, but it is extremely technical and the different species are not illustrated. Mr. Dodge's pamphlet on the "Ferns and Fern Allies of New England" is excellent so far as it goes, the descriptions not being so technical as to confuse the beginner. But this also is not illustrated, while Mr. Knobel's pamphlet, "The Ferns and Evergreens of New England," has clear black-and-white illustrations of many species, but it has no text of importance.

In view of the singular grace and charm of the fern