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Peterson Field Guide to Ferns, Second Edition: Northeastern and Central North America Paperback – Sep 26 2005


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Peterson Field Guide to Ferns, Second Edition: Northeastern and Central North America + Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians + Lichens of the North Woods
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Second Edition edition (Sept. 26 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618394060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618394067
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 11.8 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Bill on Feb. 18 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Added to my library for ID of all kinds of fern especially in my part of the country, Northern Ontario
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By R. Gray TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 26 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The new Field Guide to the Ferns is even better than the first edition in that there are more ferns and this edition includes a number of photographs that show the ferns in their natural setting or clearly differentiate subtle differences that weren't so obvious in the original line drawings. If I have any complaint about it, it is that the spine is stiff and doesn't allow the field guide to stay open at the page - it is a two handed job to read about your fern.
In my opinion, though, this is still the bible of ferns of the northeast - I have yet to come across a field guide that is more comprehensive. I recently discovered Fern Finder: A Guide to Native Ferns of Central and Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada - a truly pocket sized and very inexpensive key to the ferns, and between the two guides, you will have no problem identifying any fern you come across.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A superlative field guide with gardening information too Oct. 14 2005
By Native Plant Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Would a field guide like this make a good holiday gift for a naturalist or gardener? Absolutely-if I didn't own it already it would be my number one choice. This is the best researched field guide I've ever seen. It is very very satisfying and is going to become a must-have for anyone who hikes the northeast or would like to garden with ferns, and for all botany students of the region. A book like this is more than just a guide-it trains the eye to open up to an entire world of subtle differences in nature. There is a kind of poetry in this guide usually not seen in this type of writing-BRILLIANT! Get one soon to catch the ferns in fall color-or do a little armchair gardening over the winter.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America, second edition Sept. 11 2010
By Polly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Significant advances in fern taxonomy have made this revision of the first edition essential. It retains the clear and detailed illustrations used in the first edition with some new drawings added as needed. The new keys are especially helpful. It's my favorite book for quick reference and identification of ferns, clubmosses, and horsetails. The paper in this edition is more durable, but the book heavier, which is a consideration in the field. I carry it anyway.

Now, I'd like to see a revision of A Field Guide to Wildflowers in the Peterson series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
meh May 6 2014
By Alexander Graeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very helpful... once you've found the correct species. It has great descriptions of the plant itself and ecology and all sorts of good stuff.

The problem I have with this guide is the dichotomous keys. I have tried (with other botany students as well) to identify several ferns and some horsetails with this guide and rarely end up in the right place. For example, yesterday I was looking at a fertile stem of Equisetum arvense, and nowhere had they incorporated this into the key. I stumbled around for a few minutes until happened to notice that the description of this species showed a fertile and sterile stem.

In general, I avoid using this guide in the field and stick with my trusty Michigan Flora or Flora Novae Angliae.

To sum it up: if you just want the information this is a great guide. If you want to go into the field and use dichotomous keys to identify the ferns and their allies, I do NOT recommend this guide.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Peterson Field Guide to Ferns, Second Edition: Northeastern and Central North America July 18 2010
By T.D'Angelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book for identifying ferns and their allies. [ you know those club mosses - horsetails - spikemoss and such ] This new addition has color photos and the drawings are clear and detailed. It of course has a key which I one day will use but it seems I'm a "look at the diagrams [ each a full page in size ] till you find its match ...lol. Its truly worth the few bucks to have in the field, I use it both for fun and in delineating wetlands.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Field Guide Oct. 6 2009
By Chuck Pearson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a lot of ferns at Ives Road Fen Preserve in Southeast Michigan. This book describes 8 features of each species, from the fronds to the sori. It has black and white diagrams of each species with arrows to the key identification features and color photos of some of them. Ecology and a discussion of similar species is also included.

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