This last division includes only what is strange, striking, peculiar, or a species that is very unlike the great majority of ferns, but the author I have so liberally quoted does not include any of the crested, or what he calls malformed. varieties of originally elegant species. The species he selects for this class are so unlike ferns in appearance that they are not readily taken for ferns. The Lygodium scandens would hardly be thought a fern, and Platycerium alci-corne, the well-known stag's horn fern, differs widely from our usual idea of ferns. The Acrostichum crinitum of the West Indies must be a remarkable looking plant, for its shape and texture gives it the name of the elephant's ear. There are some species that, but for their so-called fruit, bear no resemblance to the ferns or entitle them to rank with the order.
Microlepia Hirta Cristata.
As curious objects for the fernery or conservatory, they have their place, but that is not in the precincts of the commercial man. But think of the thousands of forms we have that are strange, grotesque, beautiful, graceful, some creeping on wet, cold rocks like a tracery of fine lace, and some of the family rearing their plumed heads 100 feet high in the tropical forest, inhabitants of the earth in the dark ages of the dim past, contemporaries, perhaps, of the giant horse tails that formed our coal, surviving the glacial period. All kindred because the reproduction of the species is the same in all.