THE FILMY FERN FAMILY
The filmy ferns are small, delicate plants with membranaceous, finely dissected fronds from slender, creeping rootstocks. Sporangia sessile on a bristle-like receptacle. There are about one hundred species, mostly tropical, only one of which grows as far north as Kentucky.
[Illustration: Filmy Fern Trichomanes Boschianum (From Waters’ “Ferns”, Henry Holt & Co.)]
Trichomanes Boschianum. Trichomanes radicans
Rootstocks creeping, filiform, stipes ascending, one to three inches long, thin, very delicate, pellucid, much divided, oblong-lanceolate, bipinnatifid. Rachis narrowly winged. Sporangia clustered around the slender bristle, which is the prolongation of a vein, and surrounded by a vase-like, slightly two-lipped involucre.
On moist, dripping sandstone cliffs, Kentucky to Alabama. Often called the “Killarney fern,” as it grows about the lakes of Killarney in Ireland.
[Illustration: Fruiting Pinnules of Filmy Fern (From Waters’s “Ferns.” Henry Holt & Co.)]
[Illustration: Ostrich Fern]
[Illustration: Cinnamon Fern]
[Illustration: Marginal Shield Fern]
[Illustration: Lady Fern Crosiers]
[Illustration: Fiddleheads or Crosiers of Christmas Fern]
[The works of these authors are listed under “Fern Literature” in the following pages.]
EATON, DANIEL CADY. Born at Gratiot, Mich., September 12, 1834. His grandfather was Amos Eaton, noted botanist and author. Studied botany under his friend, Prof. Asa Gray, who had studied with Prof. John Torrey, who in turn was a pupil of Amos Eaton. Daniel C. was professor of botany in Yale College, for more than thirty years. A man of graceful and winsome personality, an authority on ferns, and widely known by his writings. His masterpiece was “The Ferns of North America” in two large, quarto volumes, beautifully illustrated. He died June 29, 1895.
CLUTE, WILLARD NELSON. Born at Painted Post, N.Y., February 26, 1869. Education informal; common schools, university lectures and private study. Manifested early a keen interest in birds and flowers. Was founder and first president of the American Fern Society. Collected in Jamaica more than three hundred species of ferns. Has written extensively on the ferns and their allies, besides publishing several standard volumes. His great distinction is in founding and editing the Fern Bulletin through its twenty volumes, when he combined this publication with The American Botanist, which is now on its twenty-eighth volume, the whole a prodigious achievement of great scientific value.