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A Natural History of Ferns

By Robbin C. Moran

A Natural History of Ferns is an entertaining and informative look at why ferns and their relatives are unique among plants. Ferns live in habitats from the tropics to polar latitudes, and unlike seed plants, which endow each seed with the resources to help their offspring, ferns reproduce by minute spores. There are floating ferns, ferns that climb or live on trees, and ferns that are trees. There are poisonous ferns, iridescent ferns, and resurrection ferns that survive desert heat and drought. 

This book is only available through print on demand. All interior art is black and white.

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Robbin C. Moran headshot

Robbin C. Moran

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Review quotes
“These masterfully written tales and the solid science behind them make this a terrific book for fern enthusiasts or anyone interested in our natural world.” —American Gardener

“The author has presented his topics with a fresh approach, so that even seasoned fern-lovers will see events from new vantage points.” —Pacific Horticulture

“This book is like nothing else on the subject. First, it’s not a field guide. . . . Secondly, it’s fun to read.” —The Los Angeles Times

“Most gardeners suspect that there is something very complex about ferns, but few of us have the chance to delve into their mysteries. Robbin Moran’s book makes their magic accessible in all its strange detail.” —Horticulture

“A joy to read, this book features science writing that goes beyond description, revealing patterns and mechanisms–the essence of natural history.” —Choice

“The structure of the book, a series of essays, allows Mr. Moran to make full use of his ability to render understandable the complexities of nature and to draw in the reader as a storyteller does.” —American Rhododendron Society Journal

“Educators need this book.” —Plant Talk

“Here is an author who plainly delights in his subject and one needn’t be a fern aficionado to share his enthusiasm.” —California Garden

“This is science writing at its best.” —New Scientist

“I learned in botany classes that ferns reproduce by spores, but I never really understood what makes a spore so different from a seed until I read A Natural History of Ferns.” —Columbus Dispatch

“Here is science writing at its best; one simply must have this book.” —Hardy Fern Foundation Quarterly
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Publication date
August 21, 2009