Ferns, horsetails and clubmosses, or to use their technical term the Pteridophyta, are a fascinating area of the British flora that ranged from the prehistoric-looking horsetails to the delicate beauty of the Aspleniaceae family (otherwise known as the spleenworts and familiar inhabitants of many a conservatory). Ferns are ubiquitous on this damp island, but often overlooked, overshadowed by the interest in the technicolour of our flowering plants. This book gives the reader an introduction to the reasons for the variety of ferns in the British Isles, as well as the history of their development within this landscape and their use by man. Taking each major habitat, Dr Page details which species of ferns are most likely to be encountered and why. Using numerous examples, he also shows how some species have become highly adapted to their environment using a whole range of strategies varying from the ordinary to the bizarre.
Ferns follows in the distinguished New Naturalist series tradition of investigative natural history, drawing from the latest field studies and research, and is the most authoritative, up-to-date and in-depth survey of this part of the British flora available.