Plants with Spores (Ferns, Mosses, et al.) Resources

Sources of information on Ferns, Mosses, Club Mosses and other similar plants.

  1. wcutler
    Feel free to check out the links, and add your comments or submit your own link suggestions by clicking the button on the right and discussing them on the Plants with Spores (Ferns, Mosses, et al.) Resources Discussion thread.

    Online Resources

    North America

    Bryophyte Ecology eBook

    Available on Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, this is an ebook comprised of 5 volumes written by Janice Glime, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University. Two places you might start are Bryophyte Ecology Volume 1: Physiological Ecology and Bryophyte Ecology Volume 5: Uses. The Volume 5 chapter that was referenced in a forum posting is on Horticultural Uses; that chapter also includes subsections on moss gardens and public gardens.

    Link location: Bryophyte Ecology ebook | Michigan Technological University Research | Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech (mtu.edu)
    Submitted by Nik
    Submitted date 18 Jan 2021; last confirmed 18 Jan 2021

    E-Flora BC

    The botanical information provided in E-Flora includes text from several major botanical publications in the province that has been brought online in a single location. The intro page is at E-Flora Introduction Page (ubc.ca).

    It's hard to pick a starting place for this website; the link given here goes to the home page. From there, click Species Groups Covered on the left for an introduction to what the groups are, or use that dropdown to select Non-Vascular Plants to get to Bryophytes. Or you can Enter the Photo Gallery and select Mosses or Liverworts. Or you can do an Advanced Search and just tick the Ferns and fern-allies Group and get 114 hits with a thumbnail photo of each. You can sort by column headings on that page.

    Link location: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia (ubc.ca)
    Submitted by Margot
    Submitted date 16 Jan 2021; last confirmed 16 Jan 2021

    Fern Identification 101 — The Stanley Park Project

    This Open Learning in the Urban Forest page of the Stanley Park Project has good photos of four ferns, and links to the Stanley Park Ecological Society checklist of native plants in Stanley Park.

    Link location: Fern Identification 101 — The Stanley Park Project - Open Learning in the Urban Forest
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Ferns and Lycophytes in New England
    You can select Ferns (117 entries) or Lycophytes (39 entries) on the Connecticut Botanical Society's plants page. Each entry goes to a page with a description and several very good photos. The title link here goes to the Ferns page.

    Link location: Ferns (ct-botanical-society.org); Lycophytes (ct-botanical-society.org)
    Submitted by Nik
    Submitted date 08 Jan 2021; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Ferns in Ohio
    The TrekOhio page was created following a workshop on ferns in the Wahkeena Nature Preserve in Fairfield County, Ohio. It begins by explaining fern structure, and has wonderful photos and explanations of distinguishing characteristics.

    Link location: Basic Fern Identification | TrekOhio
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Ferns: Simple Key: Go Botany
    This Go Botany site for Native New England ferns starts with three paths, for true ferns, club mosses, and horsetails, and based on your selection, offers a nice display of photos on one page.

    Link location: Ferns: Simple Key: Go Botany (nativeplanttrust.org)
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Hardy Fern Foundation
    The Hardy Fern Foundation has a page on Genus Characteristics, a few sentences about each.

    Link location:
    Genus Characteristics | Hardy Fern Foundation (hardyferns.org)
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    How to Identify Videos, from Nerdy About Nature
    YouTube user Nerdy About Nature has posted several 2-3 minute videos on how to identify some plants. Included are fern videos, maybe all from BC:
    Bracken Fern
    Lady Fern
    Licorice Fern
    Maidenhair Fern
    Spiny Wood Fern
    Sword Fern
    There is the same few bars of music (on ukulele?) interspersed in these videos that's pretty cool the first few times, pretty annoying thereafter. But the photography is clear and the information is good, distinguishing the video's subject from similar ferns.

    Link location: (6) Nerdy About Nature - YouTube
    Submitted by Margot, wcutler
    Submitted date 23 Nov 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    US Forest Service Ferns pages
    This site includes pages on fern structure and resources.

    Link location: Ferns (fs.fed.us)
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Europe and Asia


    British Bryological Society Field Guide

    Mosses and Liverworts of Britain and Ireland: a field guide with a page each of detailed description and drawings of around 700 species of mosses and 300 species of liverworts. There are drawing galleries to get you started, and a very nice detailed key with drawings.

    Link location BBS > BBS Field Guide species accounts
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 31 Aug 2018; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Ferns in Taiwan
    This flickr page by user Mingiweng has an album of Ferns in Taiwan with over 6000 photos, lots of detailed photos for each species.

    Link location: Ferns in Taiwan (台灣的蕨類) | Flickr
    Submitted by wcutler
    Submitted date 19 May 2020; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021

    Types of Moss in the UK
    This is a Woodland Trust page with photos of seven common mosses in the UK, written by a "Citizen Science Manager" as a byproduct of her PhD work.

    Link location: Types of Moss: Everything You Need to Know - Woodland Trust
    Submitted by Acerholic
    Submitted date 08 Jan 2021; last confirmed 08 Jan 2021