Forgive my title, which alludes to a best selling book that has nothing to do with ferns or photography. I was just trying to get your attention.
The fact is that a "black and white" photo is actually thousands of shades of gray. And, in this photo, there is little that is either purely black or purely white. The variety of shades is what gives the photo its texture and dimensionality.
Frankly, I really liked this photo in color but when I converted it to a fairly high contrast black and white image, I had a kind of a "holy cow!" moment. It wasn't the color that I liked about this capture - I liked the patterns, texture and play of light on the serrated fern leaves.
Canon 5DIII 1/100s f/3.5 ISO400 100mm