Hardy Garden Fern Books

by Sue Olsen




For most gardeners good reference books are almost as exciting as good plants. We've had many inquiries and the following are some of our favorite resources.


Winner of the 2008 Literature Award from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

by Sue Olsen

Timber Press, ISBN13: 978-0-88192-819-8 April 2007

Explore the world of ferns in this comprehensive 444 page reference that includes descriptions of close to 1000 ferns and their relatives with over 700 color illustrations – photos taken in private and public gardens and in native habitats. Learn details about their history, countries and habitats of origin, practical planting recommendations/cultural requirements and in some instances their lore and quirks.

Find information on propagation techniques as well as where to see and buy your favorites. The book is based on years of experience, ongoing research and the most current botanical and horticultural information available (variable though it may be!) May you enjoy the reading as much as I have enjoyed the writing and photo work. Order here for $59.95 includes U.S. shipping. Autographed, of course!


Pacific Northwest Ferns and Their Allies. T.M.C. Taylor, 1970

How to Know the Ferns and Fern Allies. John T. Mickel, 1979

Flora of North America. Vol. 2. 1993

Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada. Cody & Britton, 1989


The Ferns of Britain and Ireland. C.N. Page, 1982

A Natural History of Britain's Ferns. C.N. Page, 1988

Scandinavian Ferns. Benjamin Øllgaard, 1993 Magnificent illustrations.

Illustrierte Flora von Mittel-europa. Vol. 1. Gustav Hegi, 1984 (especially useful if you read German which we don't! BUT the photographs, maps and line drawings are excellent.)

Les Fougères et plantes allies de France et d'Europe occidentale. Prelli, 2001 (in French )


Flora of Japan Jisaburo Ohwi, 1965

An Illustrated Fern Flora of the West Himalaya. S. P. Khullar, Vol. 1, 1994, Vol. 2, 2000

Colored Illustrations of the Japanese Pteridophyta. Tagawa, 1977

Ferns and Fern Allies of Japan. Iwatsuki, 1992


New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Brownsey & Smith-Dodsworth, 1989

General Fern Study & Gardening

The Plantfinder's Guide to Garden Ferns. Martin Rickard, 2000

Hardy Ferns. Reginald Kaye, 1968

Ferns for American Gardens. John Mickel, 1994, paperback 2003

Maidenhair Ferns in Cultivation. Christopher J. Goudey, 1985

Ferns. Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 1995 edition

A Guide to Hardy Ferns. A British Pteridological Society publication by Richard Rush. 1984. describing close to 600 hardy and potentially hardy ferns from throughout the world. Excellent quick reference...no illustrations!

In addition to the above there are some marvelous octogenarian+ works from Britain by Druery, Lowe, Britten and Schneider that belong in the library of the serious collector. A delightful contemporary book, The Fern Herbal, Abbe, 1985 revives the charm of some of the older literature.

Cyber references

www.hardyfernlibrary.com is an excellent and comprehensive on line reference created by Tom Stuart in 2004
CD - World of Ferns on CDROM Hassler & Swale, 2003 is another excellent resource for current nomenclature and geographic distribution.

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