Fern identification resources

gardener_sandyJune 24, 2005

Are there any good websites or books for identifying ferns of eastern US (VA area)? I've done some searching and haven't found anything very helpful. I've grown several of our native ferns for years but I'm clueless as to their IDs and would like to know what they are.

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paalexan(NM)

Identification by what means? I don't know offhand of any good field guide type websites or books so you could do picture-based identification for that area, but if you wanted to key things out using technical characters everything you could ever want for US ferns is online at www.fna.org. You can also always post things here and see if we recognize them.

Patrick Alexander

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 9:33PM
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razorback33(z7)

There has been a number of Field Guides of Ferns published, but most are out of print. Your local library may have one or several of them.
Field Manual of the Ferns and Fern-Allies of the US & Canada. Lellinger, David B. (1985)
How to Know the Ferns and Fern-Allies. Mickel,John T.(1979)
The Southern Fern Guide (Southeastern & Midland US). Wherry, Edgar T.(1978)
Ferns of the Northeastern US(New England & Middle Atlantic States). Wiley, Farda A.(1973)
The Fern Guide(NE & Midland US and Adj. Canada). Wherry, Edgar T.(1961)
Guide to Eastern Ferns. Wherry, Edgar T.(1948)
A quick check indicates some of these are available from on-line used book sellers.
One Field Guide that is currently available: The Peterson Field Guide to Ferns(NE & Central NA).Cobb, Broughton. A new(2nd) edition will be available in Aug.2005.

The web site below has a number of ferns listed, with descriptions and photos. Many of these are native to your area.
Happy hunting!
Rb

Here is a link that might be useful: Ferns & Fern-Allies of the Northwoods

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 10:53AM
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gardener_sandy

Thanks for the helpful information. I'll do some searching of used book stores for the suggested titles and look over the websites. Thanks also for the offer to ID them here but I'd rather give it a try on my own first and then bring those here I can't ID. That way I learn a lot more than just being spoon fed names. You know... "teach a (wo)man to fish...

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 8:21PM
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deeproots(8b South Ga)

as they say around here
give a man a fish he eats for a day,
teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat drinking beer all day.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 12:03AM
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razorback33(z7)

Hi Drew,
Do you happen to offer Dryopteris affinis, ssp. cambrensis(Syn: D. cambrensis)? There were some gal, size offered for sale at the recent Fern Symposium in Decatur, GA, but I can't find an acceptable source for small starts.
See you Friday, hopefully.
Rb

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 1:15PM
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loris(Z6 NJ)

I'm also having a hard time identifying various ferns I see. I liked the site Razorback33 posted, and here's another one you might also find useful. It includes ferns a bit further south such as New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis) and hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula). In the case of these 2 ferns, it included a tip on how to tell the two apart which allowed me to rule out hay-scented fern for what I was trying to ID.

-- Lori

Here is a link that might be useful: Connecticut Botanical Society fern page

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 10:31AM
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paalexan(NM)

It occurs to me that maybe I should mention that, in fact, I know of an excellent website with pictures of ferns from Indiana... mine. :-) I don't include all that helpful information like the Connecticut Botanical Society, but, hey, they're a whole society, this's just me. Anyways... look in the appropriate families (Aspleniaceae, Dennstaedtiaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Pteridaceae, Thelypteridaceae) on the linked page.

Patrick Alexander

Here is a link that might be useful: polyploid.net: Indiana Plants

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:29PM
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loris(Z6 NJ)

Patrick Alexander, the few clicks I just did showed some very good pictures. I just bookmarked the site. Thank you. -- Lori

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 6:28PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

That's an excellent book list, Razorback, thank you. I only have Mickel's book Ferns for American Gardens (no one's stopped me from reading it in Canada!) which is a bit spotty on identification but has so many great pictures that a lot can be accomplished. Sandy, I agree with your approach - stretch those neurons in your brain! It can be done! But I must say I worked only from the front of the fern for years before I realized how helpful it is to turn the frond over; the backs with the sori are far more distinctive. I know - duh!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:11AM
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Outop(EC South Africa)

How do one attach a photo to a posting? I have a very strange fern in my garden that came up by itself. I do not have a clue what kind of fern it is. I do have a couple of good photos that I can attach.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 9:11AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You need to have an account with a photohosting site like Photobucket (they are free) and then upload your photos to your file there. From there, copy the tag line and paste it into your message. When you preview your message, you should see your photo.

The requirements may be different on the gallery side, but this method works for the discussion side of the forums.

If your photos are on a website that can be broadly accessed, you can also use the link options below the message box.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 1:05PM
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Outop(EC South Africa)

Thanx KarinL for the advice. I will see what I can manage.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 1:03AM
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Athyriana(Germany, Zone6)

Thankyou for this 2 wonderful pages to indentify ferns, very good pictures shown there.
I know another excellent book with good descriptions about ferns.
Fern Grower's Manual written from Barbara Hoshizaki and Robbin Moran

regards
Athyriana
www.farngarten.de

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 7:16PM
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killawale1979(qld aust)

being that i live in australia i don't supose anyone knows of good books for my region its so hard to find anything, doesnt anyone make books on ferns anymore?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 10:38PM
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loris(Z6 NJ)

killawale1979,

There's a forum on GardenWeb for Australian native plants. If you get no answers from here, maybe somebody there might be able to help you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Australian Native Plants forum

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:37AM
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Athyriana(Germany, Zone6)

There is a good book about Australian ferns from Calder H. Chaffey "Australian Ferns" growing them successfully, Melbourne University Press, 1986
and another book from Betty D. Duncan and Golda Isaac "Ferns" and allied plants of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, Kangaroo Press 1999
I hope this helps a little bit
Regards
Athyriana
www.farngarten.de

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 8:30AM
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