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As a lover of old fern books you have probably seen this one in George
Johnson's The British Ferns (1859) but I feel it puts into words our love of

It is an anonymous poem about the Royal Fern

Auld Botany Ben was wont to jog
Thro' rotten slough and quagmire bog,
Or brimfull dykes and marshes dank
Where Jack-a-Lanterns play and prank,
To seek a cryptogameous store
Of Moss, of Carex, and Fungus hoare,
Of Ferns and Brakes, and such-like sights,
As tempt out scientific wights
On winter's day; but most his joy
Was finding what's called Osman Roy.

Osman Royal was one of the many vernacular names that the Royal Fern has been
called others were Royal Moonwort, Royal Brachens, Flowering Fern, Osmund the
Waterman and Saint Christopher's Herb.

Mike Taylor
Isle of Skye

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