WELCOME to the fernzenmosses website. This site is dedicated to the appreciation of nature. The botanical emphasis is on the land plants that reproduce by spores, the terrestrial cryptogams. These are represented by the terms “ferns” and “mosses,” the former to include lycopods, quillworts, and horsetails; the latter includes liverworts and hornworts. I do not emphasize algae because they are not land plants, and neither fungi nor lichens because they are not plants. The name of this site incorporates “zen” as the conjunction, implying the the spiritual and aesthetic component of appreciation.


ID Keys:  online identification keys for Oregon hornworts and  Racomitrium of Oregon.

Tutorials: “Important Bryophytes of Western Oregon”  a web-based study guide; “Tools, Tips, and Techniques” document.

Resources: 1) “Important Bryophytes of Western Oregon”  a study site. 2Key to the Liverwort Genera of Oregon. This key is extracted from the “Guide to the Liverworts of Oregon” (see Products)

David Wagner

David H. Wagner

Portrait at Coyote Prairie

Portrait at Coyote Prairie

I was raised in India, attending boarding school in the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains from kindergarten through high school. Early in life I fell in love with mountains and nature. I collected ferns, beetles, and butterflies, tracked birds and mammals, and chased snakes. After returning to the USA I went through college and graduate school in Washington State. Received B.A. (1968, Biology, Chemistry and Geology) from University of Puget Sound, Tacoma;  M.S. (1974) and Ph.D. (1976) in Botany from Washington State University in Pullman. From there I moved directly to Eugene, Oregon, where I have lived and worked for over 35 years. I was Director and Curator of the University of Oregon Herbarium 1976 to 1993. Since 1993 I have operated the Northwest Botanical Institute, dedicated to research, education, and public service.

I specialize in ferns, mosses and liverworts. My focus is on field botany and taxonomy. I am deeply involved with the Eugene Natural History Society. I created the Willamette Valley Nature Calendar for many years, put it on hiatus for three years starting in 2012, and now am making them again.  I write a monthly nature column, “It’s About Time,” for the Eugene Weekly newspaper. The column usually appears the first Thursday of each month.