american fern society

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american fern society

The American Fern Society, founded in 1893, is an international organization serving those interested in all aspects of ferns and allied plants. The majority of its more than 1000 members are amateurs interested in growing ferns or in studying these plants in the wild. However, most pteridologists (fern specialists) and numerous other professional botanists also find membership in the society useful. The principal objective of the Society is to foster scholarly interest in this group of plants. To this end, it publishes a newsletter, Fiddlehead Forum five times a year. The Society's scientific journal, American Fern Journal, has been published quarterly since 1910. The group also publishes at irregular intervals a memoir series, Pteridologia, which includes longer scholarly works. Additionally, the Society operates a spore exchange with spore samples available to Society members at nominal cost or by exchange, for those who wish to grow plants from spores. The Society's annual meetings usually are held in conjunction with the Botanical Society of America's annual conference.

The American Fern Society is over 100 years old. With over 900 members worldwide, it is one of the largest international fern clubs in the world. It was established in 1893 with the objective of fostering interest in ferns and fern allies. To this end it encourages correspondence and the exchange of information and specimens between members via its newsletter the Fiddlehead Forum. We have "Fern Forays" into the woods every August. These field trips provide a wonderful way to learn more about wild ferns from experts and also afford an occasion to meet other people with a similar passion for ferns. This web page is designed to expand on this exchange of information with amateurs and professionals around the world. We hope that in this way many more people will be able to explore these interesting plants and their allies.

Ferns have been with us for more than 300 million years and in that time the diversification of their form has been phenomenal. Ferns grow in many different habitats around the world. The ferns were at their height during the Carboniferous Period (the age of ferns) as they were the dominant part of the vegetation at that time. During this era some fern like groups actually evolved seeds (the seed ferns) making up perhaps half of the fern like foliage in Carboniferous forests and much later giving rise to the flowering plants. Most of the ferns of the Carboniferous became extinct but some later evolved into our modern ferns. There are thousands of species in the world today.

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