Inside the Morris Arboretum's 'Jewel'

In 1899, amateur botanist John Morris and his sister Lydia built a "jewel" on the property of their summer estate, Compton.

This fernery, a glassed home for ferns, rimmed by a foundation of stone, perfectly tapped into the Victorian era fascination with the plants. Fascination, however, may be an understatement.Some say the Victorians were downright obsessed. The term pteridomania describes this fixation on ferns: Forms of the plant appeared on textiles, pottery, furniture, and even gravestones.

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Photos by Steve Minicola and courtesy of the Morris Arboretum