Fern: What You Should Know

Ferns are plants that grow in shade and damp places, such as in forests, in crevices and ravines, or on the banks of streams. They do not form seeds to reproduce, but rather spores. Around the world there are about 12,000 different species, in our countries, there are about 100 species. Ferns are not called leaves, but fronds.

Over 300 million years ago, ferns were abundant in the world. These plants were much larger than today. That is why they are called tree ferns. Some of them still exist in the tropics today. Most of our hard coal comes from dead ferns.

How do ferns reproduce?

Ferns reproduce without flowers. Instead, you see large, mostly round dots on the underside of the fronds. These are heaps of capsules. They are light in the beginning and then turn dark green to brown.

Once these capsules are mature, they burst open and release their spores. The wind carries them away. If they fall on the ground in a shady, damp place, they will begin to grow. These little plants are called pre-seedlings.

Female and male reproductive organs develop on the underside of the pre-seedling. The male cells then swim to the female egg cells. After fertilization, a young fern plant develops. The whole thing takes about a year.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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