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why a page on Canberra ferns?

A good question. The short answer is, the native ferns here are hardy, and will grow well in many other places.

Canberra is an inland city, at an altitude of around 600 metres (2000 feet), in the southeastern corner of the Australian continent, renowned for its droughts. The Canberra summers can be hot and dry, and its winters cold and frosty.

So the Canberra climate is not one that encourages ferns. Any fern that grows here has to be hardy, and is likely to grow in typical garden situations around the world. Despite our difficult climate, nearly eighty species grow here in the wild.

where's Canberra?

Here's a small map to show you where we live on the Australian continent.

Canberra GIFWe're about 300 km (190 miles) southwest of Sydney and 150 km (95 miles) from the Pacific coast.

what's on the site

This site contains information about the local ferns: what species grow here, what they look like, where they grow, and the climatic conditions they prefer.

It's not a typical web site. There's a bit more information here than on some other sites. It's an experiment in how to deliver information. With the Web, unlike a textbook, we have the luxury of creating the content bit by bit. Most important, we can react to reader comments - adverse or otherwise - and modify the content accordingly.

We have another advantage over the printed word: there is little expense involved in adding more colour illustrations. (Though the images will be kept as compact as possible to minimise the pain of downloading them over slow connections).

The site targets three aspects of ferns: the botanical, the ecological and the horticultural. The emphasis may change with time. It may finish up as a combination of reference book and newsletter. We'll see.

The site includes comprehensive material about the ferns that grow in this region, including a full checklist of species. It talks about the conditions they need to thrive. It gives horticultural information on them. And it looks at the ecology of ferns, especially the way particular habitats are delineated by the ferns that can grow there. It's also intended to encourage other fern-seekers to get out into the wild.

map of the region

A map to show you the lie of the land in the Canberra region is the best place to start. Follow the "next" buttons to work your way through the site, or click on the links on the index page to move where you want.

DN July 1997region map index

Curiously, this page has also been translated into Byelorussian, here.
DN March2011