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Key People:Sir william Jackson HookerFrederick Orpen BowerDouglas houghton Campbell...(Show more)Related Topics:EquisetopsidaPolypodiidaeMarattiidaePsilotopsidasun fern...(Show more)
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Discover just how a fern employs that is vascular device to circulate water and nutrients between its leaves and roots

fern, (class Polypodiopsida), class of nonflowering vascular plants the possess true roots, stems, and complex leaves and that reproduce by spores. The variety of known extant fern varieties is around 10,500, however estimates have ranged together high together 15,000, the number differing because particular groups space as however poorly studied and because brand-new species space still being uncovered in unexplored tropic areas. The ferns constitute an ancient division of vascular plants, several of them as old as the Carboniferous period (beginning around 358.9 million year ago) and also perhaps older. Their kind of life cycle, dependent top top spores because that dispersal, long preceded the seed-plant life cycle. An additional informal surname for the group, monilophytes, has gained currency in contemporary botanical literature.

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General features

Size variety and habitat

The ferns space extremely diverse in habitat, form, and also reproductive methods. In dimension alone they selection from minute filmy plants only 1–1.2 cm (0.39–0.47 inch) high to substantial tree ferns 10 to 25 metres (30 come 80 feet) in height. Some space twining and vinelike; others float top top the surface of ponds. The majority of ferns inhabit warm, damp locations of the Earth. Cultivation profusely in dry areas, ferns to decrease in number v increasingly higher latitudes and decreasing supplies of moisture. Few are found in dry, cold places.