Members Reports and Photos


PRAEGER CENTRE, national botanic gardens,  3 DECEMBER 2016


The morning session was concerned with the identification of the basic species with particular attention to the Dryopteris genus.

The afternoon session dealt with more difficult ferns in particular Polypodium and Polystichum.  Some Polystichum material  viewed had characteristics of the hybrid between the widespread P. setiferum and the rarer P. aculeatum (= P. x bicknellii).  Participants were able to view the sporangia of Polypodium species using a compound microscope and to view the paraphyses which are a critical feature in the identification of P. cambricum.

There is a substantial paper dealing with Polypodium in Watsonia 8: 121-134 (1970) - a revision of some of the taxonomic characters of Polypodium australe (cambricum) Fee by R. H. Roberts.  This paper raises a number of important issues with regard to variation in frond  morphology and can be downloaded from the BSBI Watsonia archive.

English Botany is the title of a major publication of British plants, an enormous set of volumes that was issued between 1790 and 1813. The brief, but formal descriptions were supplied by the founder of the Linnean SocietyJames Edward Smith, and published and illustrated by the botanical illustrator and natural historian, James Sowerby. The Periodical was published in 36 volumes over 23 years and was given the full title, English Botany or, Coloured Figures of British Plants, with their Essential Characters, Synonyms and Places of Growth, the descriptions supplied by Sir James E. Smith were illuminated by Sowerby's 2,592 hand-colored plates. The volumes were issued by subscription, as a part work over 23 years, until its eventual completion in 1813. This amounted to 36 volumes which came to be referred to 'Sowerby's Botany', though somewhat erroneously. The photographs below with the title of 'English Botany' are derived from this source.



           Field Guide                Welsh Ferns               Dryopteris affinis           Welsh Ferns, Clubmosses etc 


          Asplenium viride                      English Botany


           Phegopteris connectilis                              English Botany


       Cryptogamma crispa                             English Botany


Gymnocarpium robertianum  


Dryopteris carthusiana  Dryopteris borreri


Polypodium cambricum (australe)  P. interjectum


Polystichum  lonchitis  English Botany

  Photographs © P. Lenihan

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