Polystichum setiferum unrolling young frondFerns at Muir Woods, CaliforniaFerns at the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens
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Ferns

A fern is any one of a group of about 20,000 species of plants classified in the phylum or division Pteridophyta, also known as Filicophyta. more...

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The group is also referred to as Polypodiophyta, or Polypodiopsida when treated as a subdivision of tracheophyta (vascular plants). The study of ferns and other pteridophytes is called pteridology, and one who studies ferns and other pteridophytes is called a pteridologist. The term "pteridophyte" has traditionally been used to describe all seedless vascular plants, making it synonymous with "ferns and fern allies". This can be confusing since members of the fern phylum Pteridophyta are also sometimes referred to as pteridophytes.

Life cycle

Ferns are vascular plants differing from the more primitive lycophytes by having true leaves (megaphylls), and they differ from seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms) in their mode of reproduction - lacking flowers and seeds. Like all other vascular plants, they have a life cycle referred to as alternation of generations, characterized by a diploid sporophytic and a haploid gametophytic phase. Unlike the gymnosperms and angiosperms, the ferns' gametophyte is a free-living organism. The life cycle of a typical fern is as follows:

  1. A sporophyte (diploid) phase produces haploid spores by meiosis;
  2. A spore grows by cell division into a gametophyte, which typically consists of a photosynthetic prothallus
  3. The gametophyte produces gametes (often both sperm and eggs on the same prothallus) by mitosis
  4. A mobile, flagellate sperm fertilizes an egg that remains attached to the prothallus
  5. The fertilized egg is now a diploid zygote and grows by mitosis into a sporophyte (the typical "fern" plant).

Fern ecology

The stereotypic image of ferns growing in moist shady woodland nooks is far from being a complete picture of the habitats where ferns can be found growing. Fern species live in a wide variety of habitats, from remote mountain elevations, to dry desert rock faces, to bodies of water or in open fields. Ferns in general may be thought of as largely being specialists in marginal habitats, often succeeding in places where various environmental factors limit the success of flowering plants. Some ferns are among the world's most serious weed species, including the bracken fern growing in the British highlands, or the mosquito fern (Azolla) growing in tropical lakes, both species form large aggressively spreading colonies. There are four particular types of habitats that ferns are found in: moist, shady forests; crevices in rock faces, especially when sheltered from the full sun; acid wetlands including bogs and swamps; and tropical trees, where many species are epiphytes.

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Spectacular first time offered Dwarf Platycerium Cabbage Superbum staghorn FernSpectacular first time offered Dwarf Platycerium Cabbage Superbum staghorn Fern $33.00 Christmas Cactus/Schlumbergera Variety, Great Starter Cutting Cactus PlantsChristmas Cactus/Schlumbergera Variety, Great Starter Cutting Cactus Plants $14.99
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Lady in Red Fern Bulbs 25Lady in Red Fern Bulbs 25 $38.99 Cyathea cooperi curly Revolvulum Garrods Form Tree Fern spore grown 4 inch potCyathea cooperi curly Revolvulum Garrods Form Tree Fern spore grown 4 inch pot $12.99
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Royal Fern 12 Plants in 3-1/2 inch Pots Free ShippingRoyal Fern 12 Plants in 3-1/2 inch Pots Free Shipping $92.88 Platycerium bifurcatum Mounted 8" wood plaque Species Staghorn Fern 2 PlantsPlatycerium bifurcatum Mounted 8" wood plaque Species Staghorn Fern 2 Plants $50.00
5 Spleenwort fern ferns Premium Native Woodland Bare Root Stock5 Spleenwort fern ferns Premium Native Woodland Bare Root Stock $5.25 Lemon Grass - 8 Organic Rooted Medium PlugsLemon Grass - 8 Organic Rooted Medium Plugs $20.00
Huperzia / Lycopodium tetrasticha V Rare Coarse Tassel Fern Stable Plant *1/2*Huperzia / Lycopodium tetrasticha V Rare Coarse Tassel Fern Stable Plant *1/2* $19.99 Blechnum brasilense Brazilian dwarf tree fernBlechnum brasilense Brazilian dwarf tree fern $7.99
Japanese Bird's Nest Fern Growing on Natural Wooden Plaque - Asplenium -9 x 5.5"Japanese Bird's Nest Fern Growing on Natural Wooden Plaque - Asplenium -9 x 5.5" $14.99 Victoria Bird's Nest Fern - 4" Pot - Asplenium - Easy to Grow House PlantVictoria Bird's Nest Fern - 4" Pot - Asplenium - Easy to Grow House Plant $7.99
staghorn fern family of 8 stag horn ferns in a 10 inch potstaghorn fern family of 8 stag horn ferns in a 10 inch pot $59.99 Holy Cow Platycerium elephantotis Mounted Large Staghorn Fern SpeciesHoly Cow Platycerium elephantotis Mounted Large Staghorn Fern Species $170.00
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Staghorn Fern Spore, Grow your own from spore! item# 301212121982Staghorn Fern Spore, Grow your own from spore! item# 301212121982 $7.99 Athyrium filix-femina - Lady Fern - This listing is for 18 Root's OnlyAthyrium filix-femina - Lady Fern - This listing is for 18 Root's Only $8.50
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5 New York Fern Premium Native Woodland Ferns Bare Root Stock5 New York Fern Premium Native Woodland Ferns Bare Root Stock $4.79 Mini Staghorn Fern Growing on Natural Wood Round - Picture Stand -Houseplant -5"Mini Staghorn Fern Growing on Natural Wood Round - Picture Stand -Houseplant -5" $11.99
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Japanese Beech Hardy Fern - Thelypteris decursive-pinnata - Quart PotJapanese Beech Hardy Fern - Thelypteris decursive-pinnata - Quart Pot $7.99 Lady Fern 6 Plants in 3-1/2 inch PotsLady Fern 6 Plants in 3-1/2 inch Pots $46.44
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Ostrich Fern 4 Plants in 3-1/2 inch PotsOstrich Fern 4 Plants in 3-1/2 inch Pots $33.36 House FernsHouse Ferns $40.00
$420.00 Was: Previous Price $600.00 20 Indian Pipe Seeds plus Inoculated Soil Packet -Monotropa uniflora20 Indian Pipe Seeds plus Inoculated Soil Packet -Monotropa uniflora $2.00 Was: Previous Price $2.50
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Woodland Fern ~Lot of 5~ Full Sun or Shade Great Border Low Ground Cover 12"-18"Woodland Fern ~Lot of 5~ Full Sun or Shade Great Border Low Ground Cover 12"-18" $19.95 20-Year-Old Staghorn Fern20-Year-Old Staghorn Fern $750.00
Rare Platycerium Elephantotis Mounted On A Cedar Board - Staghorn FernRare Platycerium Elephantotis Mounted On A Cedar Board - Staghorn Fern $43.00 Established Staghorn Fern Platycerium grande (Phillippines species) On Tree FernEstablished Staghorn Fern Platycerium grande (Phillippines species) On Tree Fern $65.00
Lemon Button Fern 4" Pot - Nephrolepis cordifolia Duffii Gift Mature HolidayLemon Button Fern 4" Pot - Nephrolepis cordifolia Duffii Gift Mature Holiday $6.99 PsNature Gray Hypertufa (stone) Fern Mix;15 Lbs. Make Planters w/ Free Soil! FnfPsNature Gray Hypertufa (stone) Fern Mix;15 Lbs. Make Planters w/ Free Soil! Fnf $24.99
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