Ferns and Fern Allies of Pennsylvania has been designed with three things in mind:
- it is designed to show the reader two photos of each Pteridophyte in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- to provide the reader with the names, descriptions, habitats and ranges of all the ferns, clubmosses, spikemosses and horsetails in state.
- the book provides the reader with the most used common and scientific epithets for each of the plants.
In most cases, the names are those the reader will experience in Pennsylvania. Since range is shown by areas within each county, readers are encouraged to look for specific ferns species in their home region. In addition, a listing of less common labels is provided to alert the reader to terms that are used in other parts of the country.
We have sought by means of photographs and brief descriptions to make the recognition of our ferns a relatively easy matter. We base our belief that, in a general text on the state’s Pteridophytes, photos of the plants growing in their nature habitat establish, for the viewer, a clearer picture of the common characteristics of the specific fern than do detailed drawings. We would, no doubt, have an alternate view if we were creating a field guide of ferns where specific details are more desired.
Maps of the distribution of the various species throughout the counties of Pennsylvania and across the United States are included. The inclusion of such maps provide the reader with a regional and national understanding of the allocation of limits for the species. Taxonomic keys to each of the groups have been included at specific points to assist the reader with plant identification.