Scandinavian Ferns – A Natural History of the Ferns, Clubmosses, Quillworts, and Horsetails of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Ferns are plants of discreet appearance and modest requirements; they have no showy flowers and generally lead an unobtrusive existence. However, to the attentive observer they have a special appeal, each species having its own personality, be it graceful, delicate, rugged, or bizarre. Their individual character is usually due to subtly transformed repetition, gradual elaboration or simplification of a characteristic basic form, leading to patterns of great elegance.
Ferns are different from flowering plants in their dispersal and reproductive biology and this affects their role and possibilities in nature. Scandinavia offers a great variety of fern habitats and its Flora counts 72 species of ferns and fern-allies in addition several varieties and hybrids, many of them with remarkable life histories and adaptations to unusual environments. Most of the species are not restricted to Scandinavia, but several are particular to Scandinavia in a European context.
This book is the first to be dedicated to the Scandinavian ferns and the so-called fern-allies. It aims to tell their natural history as well as asking some of the questions the ferns may give us. It includes numerous colour plates, virtually all painted from living plants in the natural habitats. Decides descriptions of the species and keys to identify them, the text also deals with the variability of the species, their reproduction, geographic distribution, ecology, practical and ritual uses, and the origin and meaning of names, often reflecting old superstition and folklore. The book aims to convey the enjoyable and interesting experiences one may have with these fascinating plants, to give insight in their life histories, and, hopefully, to inspire the reader to go out and discover.
Table of contents: Introduction - Descriptions of the families and species - Lycopodiaceae – Selaginellaceae - Isoëtaceae - Equisetaceae – Ophioglossaceae – Osmundaceae - Adiantaceae – Polypodiaceae – Hymenophyllaceae – Dennstaedtiaceae – Thelypteridaceae – Aspleniaceae – Woodsiaceae – Dryopteridaceae – Blechnaceae – Marsileaceae – Azollaceae – Glossary – Literature references – Index.
Soft cover, 318 pages including an index. Large format, approx. 25,5 x 34 cm. (1993)
The author, Benjamin Ølgaard, mag.scient. (born 1949), was associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark (today: Emeritus, department of Bioscience). He has taught university courses on taxonomic and general botany, on plant geography and trophical botany. His research deals mainly with the biology, geography, and taxonomy of the ferns and fern allies, particularly the family Lycopodiaceae, and with the composition and structure of tropical forests, particularly the montane forests of Ecuador. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Ecuador as well as in Scandinavia, and carried out research at several botanical institutions in Europe and the United States.
The artist, Kirsten Tind, born in Copenhagen 1943, has studied botanical illustration at the Hunt Library for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, USA.
Over the years she has made numerous botanical illustrations in scientific journals and books, and in “Den store Danske Encyclopædi” (22 volumes). She has illustrated tropical plants for the journals “Flora of Ecuador” and “Flora of Thailand”. Additionally, she has contributed with some of the line drawings in the Danish flora book, “Dansk Feltflora” and numerous other publications.