Title: Ferns of Southern Africa
Subtitle: A Comprehensive Guide
Authors: Neil Crouch; John Burrows; Ronell Klopper; Sandra Burrows
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781770079106 / ISBN 978-1-77007-910-6
Softcover, 15x21 cm, 760 pages, throughout colour photos
Ferns of Southern Africa is a substantially revised version of Southern African ferns and fern allies, written by John Burrows, illustrated by Sandra Burrows and published in 1990. Two decades later and following tremendous developments in our understanding of the diversity and distribution of ferns in the region, it has become necessary to update this earlier work. This new book benefits from advances in publishing and photography that allow for a fresh format, which should prove even more practical than the previous version. Extensive use has been made of digital images, altogether over 1800 photographs are included, such that many characters useful for identification are presented in full colour, often at a macro-scale. This guide is designed to enable botanists, students, gardeners and plant enthusiasts to identify any fern they may encounter when wandering through veld or forest. The layout and presentation of information are designed to make this process as easy as possible.
By flipping through the photographs, line drawings and maps, the reader should be able to identify any fern to at least genus level and usually down to species level. Where confusion between species could reasonably result, a table of such species is included in the taxon treatment, highlighting important distinguishing characters. Wherever possible, the characters are associated with distribution patterns or specific habitat preferences and features that can be seen with the naked eye. However, at times a hand lens (10x) will be required, and on some rare occasions the key features are so small that they can only be observed under a microscope. A concerted attempt has been made to avoid this microscopic approach to enable all with an interest In this group of plants to identify their finds with the greatest practical ease and resolution. For those who require more technical detail, there is a brief botanical description along with distributional and ecological notes on each species.
How to use this book
Names of new taxa published in this work
Key to families
Index to scientific and common names