Currently, information relating to ferns can be found in a number of places, but there is no single source of truth. These include:
Scientific based websites. These sites tend to document a large number of fern species, but only from a scientific aspect. The information is typically complex and difficult for the average lay person to comprehend and is often poorly organised. Typically, this type of site details information such as taxonomy, synonyms, authors and publication details, but does not cover cultivars or any horticultural information
Horticultural based websites. These sites will quite often provide comprehensive information on individual fern species, but will not generally cover a large number of species. Information is sometimes out of date and can be inconsistent. Typically, this type of site provides information such as description, growing conditions, attributes and hardiness.
Paper publications. Publications range from scientific in nature (such as journal articles) to books written by individuals. The information itself can be comprehensive but again only covers a small range of species. Additionally, the currency of some aspects of the information can be relatively short lived
Fern Societies and other groups Fern Societies and Enthusiasts tend to possess an incredible amount of information but it tends to be difficult to draw apon. Unfortunately when members pass on, this information is lost forever.
AboutFerns.org aims to draw together this disparate information into a single online resource for all parties. This site has been designed to support both scientific and horticultural information and has been developed from the ground up to provide a superior end user experience. The data has been standardised to maximise functionality and related back to referenced material where possible.
How to Use This Site.
There are several ways to access the plants stored on AboutFerns:
Quick Search. The quick search will return any ferns that contain the text entered in the quick search box. Simply type the full or partial names into the search box and then click enter. All matching plants will be listed as results.
Advanced Search. The advanced search provides the ability to return a list of plants based on any advanced search fields that are populated. The advanced search can be accessed via the 'Advanced Search' menu option
Browse. The browse functionality provides the ability to browse from top levels of the classification heirarchy down to plants. Browse can be accessed via the 'Browse' function in the side menu.
Filter. The 'Filter' option in the side menu will also provide a list of plants based on the option selected.
Once a list of plants is displayed, clicking on the plant will display its horticultural profile. The botanical profile can be displayed by clicking on the associuated tab. Any listed variants and hybrids can also be displayed by clicking on the variant/hybrid name.
AboutFerns.org is not a commercial entity. All resources are provided for the greater good. We welcome input from all sources. If you are interested in getting involved, contact us, We would welcome your contributions.