The Complete Book of Ferns

Mobee Weinstein. Cool Springs, $30 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7603-6394-2
Weinstein, foreman of gardeners at the New York Botanical Garden, debuts with a lovely and multifaceted exploration of ferns. Covering “crafting” with ferns and how to grow them indoors and outdoors, the book also awakens an understanding of their extraordinary longevity and history. “Ferns are a prime example of finding a winning formula and sticking with it,” Weinstein observes of these evolutionary champions, noting the discovery of fossils from approximately 180 million years ago identical to the modern “interrupted fern” (Claytosmunda claytoniana) native to North American woodlands. Among potentially germane facts for gardeners, Weinstein explains that ferns are seedless, and so do not bear flowers, but possess a robust vascular system. That said, her botanical explanations may become tedious to the hobbyist. But those who press on will be rewarded with the book’s ending, which showcases ferns in a variety of decorating possibilities—including the steps to achieve them—for those who want a tabletop display but have little interest in evolution or botany. Weinstein’s homage to the fern is as useful as it is educational, and amply makes the case for a group of plants once as familiar to the T. rex, she observes, as it is to today’s hiker. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 10/04/2019
Release date: 11/01/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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