Characteristics and Examples of Ferns, Here’s the Full Explanation

Characteristics and Examples of Ferns – Is Sinaumed’s a fan of plants? Studying the characteristics and examples of ferns can be an interesting experience. Sinaumed’s may also be familiar with fern plants which can be called a type of fern plant. This type of fern also needs to be understood, especially in biology lessons or other plant studies. Ferns are one of the unique plant species and have characteristics in their habitat, including their benefits for other living things.

Is Sinaumed’s interested in knowing the types of ferns? The following is an explanation of the characteristics and examples of ferns that need to be known to identify them in the wild or as ornamental plants.

Getting to Know Nail Plants

Ferns ( Pterophyta ) are a division of the plant kingdom whose plant structure has roots, stems, true leaves, and carriers or vessels. Nail plants come from the word ” Pterophyta”  which means feather wings and ” python” which means plant . Thus, ferns or pterophyta are included in the combus spore plants which produce spores and generally have leaf arrangements that form the shape of wings.

That is, shoots that have wings. Ferns are also often referred to as sporogenic cormophytes because they are associated with asexual reproduction by true roots, stems, leaves, and spores. Pterophyta are also known as vascular plants.

Pterophyta are the simplest bulbous and vascular plants. There is a protective layer of cells (sterile envelope) around the genitals of plant species, which is an internal transport system that lives in moist places. Fibrous roots in the form of rhizomes with root tips protected by calyptra. The root cells of these ferns then form the epidermis, cortex, and central cylindrical layers which contain xylem and phloem .

The stalk of this fern is on the ground, very short, and invisible as it reaches 5 feet high, like a dowel or stake. When young, the leaves curl and ripple. Based on the shape and size of the composition, fern leaves are divided into microphiles and macrophiles. Microfills are small or scaly, do not have stems, do not have veins, and do not show cell differentiation. Chlorophyll is distinguished by large leaves, stems, leafy bones, and differentiated branching cells.

Ferns can also be called a type of plant with horns, aka its body can be divided into three main parts, namely roots, stems and leaves. The main reproductive organs of plants, ferns, are spores. Therefore, taxonomists divide the world’s plants into two groups, which are named cryptogams and fanerogamae . Cryptogam (spore plants) includes pterophyta, pterophyta, moss plants, and pterophyta.

The habitat of ferns is on land, especially in the subsoil of lowlands, beaches, mountain slopes, or 350 meters above sea level. Especially in humid areas, some of them are epiphytes (related to other plants). Basically, ferns are photosynthetic organisms. There are ferns that swim in water (eg Azolla pinnata and Marsilea crenata ). However, ferns are generally terrestrial plants (terrestrial plants).

The following factors affect the growth of ferns:

  1. Soil Water Content
  2. Water content in the air
  3. The content of mineral nutrients in the soil
  4. Light component for photosynthesis
  5. Optimum temperature
  6. Protection against angina
  7. Protection from excessive light

Not all of the factors above play a role, but have an important role for the plant seeds. The survival of ferns in an area depends on the survival of gametophytes , whether they occur naturally in that environment or not. Like higher plants, ferns grow in their own environment (usually in damp places).

Some ferns can survive in extreme environments such as dry and hot environments. Various types of this plant can live in desert areas. The ferns can then position themselves according to their niche, moist soil, moist air, light intensity, and more. Pterophyta rarely live outside the niche.

This plant can reproduce asexually (vegetatively) with stems that produce echoes (shoots). The echo is the part of the leaf vein or leaf foot that contains the spur. Sexual reproduction (generative) with the formation of male and female gametes through the genitals (gametes). Male gametogenesis ( Anseledium ) produces sperm, while female gametogonium produces eggs (ovaries), and ferns cause metagenesis (change of offspring).

In fern metagenesis, the principle is the same regardless of whether it is a homosporous fern, a heterophoric fern, or a transitional fern. As the spores fall into place, they develop into the prothallium , commonly referred to as the gametophyte generation, or gametophyte generation, which soon forms the sperm-producing ancellia and ovule-producing archegonia.

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When the sperm and egg cells meet, a diploid zygote is formed and quickly grows into a fern. So, ferns are one of the descendants of the sporophyte because the plant structure can form sporangia and produce sporophytes for the reproductive process. The sporophyte phase in fern metagenesis has dominant characteristics compared to the gametophyte phase.

If you look at fern leaves that make spores (sporophylls), there are special organs that form sporophylls. Spores are produced and formed in a vessel called a sporangium . In ferns, the sporangium usually gathers on the underside of the leaves.

Characteristics of Nail Plants

The characteristics of ferns have their own uniqueness compared to other plants. Pterophyta are often found as wild plants along roadsides, ditches and walls of old buildings. The characteristics of ferns form special characteristics that distinguish them from other plants. The characteristics of ferns can be seen from the roots, leaves, breeding to their habitat. Recognizing the characteristics of ferns helps to identify the types of plants in the area. The unique nature of ferns makes them easy to find.

1. Living Place 

Where ferns live can be spread across the tropics near the North Pole and Antarctica. The distribution of this fern plant starts from primary forest, secondary forest, open nature, highlands and lowlands, moist, damp, shady environments, plantation gardens.

2. Morphology Or ​​Shape

Ferns can be mostly unbranched trees, shrubs, epiphytes, vines, aquatic plants, aquatic plants, or herbs with soil-spreading and decaying rhizomes.

3. Carrier Blood Vessels 

The blood vessels of ferns are in the roots, stems and leaves which are quite good. Anatomically, ferns have helped to circulate the results of photosynthesis to all parts of the plant, as well as a means of transport, namely xylem, which helps transport water and mineral salts from the roots to the leaves for photosynthesis.

4. Roots 

Fern roots generally have adventitious roots. Roots grow horizontally on the surface or underground. Epiphytic rhizome spines on this plant species will climb up the branches and stems. The first root that appears is not dominant, but other roots follow and all come out of the stem.

5. Stem 

Stems of ferns branch (split) or form side branches, and no new branches emerge from the leaf axils. Fern stems have many leaves and can grow continuously for a long time. Pterophyta stalks are mainly underground or creeping.

6. Leaves 

The leaves are the most prominent part of a fern plant. Generally, ferns are known to have leaves that curl and grow from shoots with fine hairs. The stem of the entai (leaf) is called the stem (stipe) is a term to distinguish it from the stems of other plants. Pteridophyta stems are usually scaly or hairy, flat or rectangular. The shape and color of the scales and feathers help to differentiate the different types of ferns. The flat part of the leaf is called a thin layer and some are single or divided into several or many separate leaflets.

7. Sorus 

The sorus is the part of the claw under the fern that belongs to the sporangia group. The sori open and haploid spores will begin to appear after germination. These spores are only a few millimeters in size and mostly grow into an amphoteric gametophyte. The sporophytes of ferns differ greatly in structure and size.

8. Breeding Or Reproduction Process

The most distinctive feature of ferns is that they do not produce flowers or fruit, but produce spores for reproduction. Pterophytes can be propagated vegetatively by the formation of gemmae and sexually by the fusion of male and female gametes. Vegetative propagation is carried out by stems that produce echoes (saplings). Echoes are sticks on the veins or leaf legs that contain spurs.

Reproduction in ferns is the formation of male and female sex cells by the genitals (gametogony). Male gametogenesis (Anseledium) produces sperm, female gametogonium produces moss-like eggs (eggs), and ferns cause metagenesis (change of offspring).

9. Life Cycle of Ferns

Pterophytes go through two stages of their life cycle, namely the sporophyte and gametophyte. The sporophyte phase is the phase in which ferns produce spores. The spores produced by ferns then spread through the air, fall onto a moist surface, and grow into prothallium which is then called a leaf. Prothallium is a green leaf shaped like a kidney.

Due to the shape of the fronds, the leaves of ferns do not have true roots, stems or leaves. It measures 12 centimeters and lives only a few weeks. Entering the gametophyte phase, the prothallium will form male reproductive organs called annelids and female reproductive organs called archegonium . Annelids produce sperm and archegonium produce eggs, the zygote is formed from the egg fertilized by the sperm. After that, the zygote grows into a new fern.

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Well, that’s an explanation of the characteristics of ferns. If Sinaumed’s is familiar with the anatomy of other plants, he will definitely find many striking differences. In order to understand more about the anatomy of plant species, Sinaumed’s can read the following sinaumedia book recommendations.

This book describes the parts of a plant, the cell structure and function of each organelle, and the various tissues that make up a plant. This book also discusses in detail the organs that make up plants: roots, stems, leaves, flowers, as well as primary and secondary growth and overgrowth. Presented in simple language and with comprehensive examples, this book is an excellent guide for undergraduate students in biology, agriculture, forestry and pharmacy education. This book provides many illustrations referenced from standard books, making it easier to recognize the anatomy of vascular plants with their supporting files.

Examples of Ferns

After knowing the characteristics of ferns, Sinaumed’s can also recognize plants from the examples, maybe even he has often encountered several types of ferns around the environment, both in the yard of the house or in the gardens behind the house. So to better understand it, here are some examples of ferns that come from several types or species of ferns:

1. Homospora Nagel

This fern plant produces spores of the same shape and size. Homospores are also called monosyllabic because the spores grow on the prothallium and form alopecia and alkegonia.

2. Foreign Spores

This type of fern produces two types of spores with different sizes. Foreign ferns are also known as dioecious . The large spores or female macrospores that grow into the macroprothallium form the archegonium. Male microspores or microspores grow into microspores and form microspores.

3. Transitional Ferns

Ferns that are the same size but produce different types of spores, such as males and females. Spores can grow into the prothallium, which forms one of the genitals.

4. Microphile Affinity Fern

This micro-affinity fern has small leaves. Microphilic ferns are characterized by a leaf structure without bones, and these plants usually do not have cell differentiation during growth, and have a leaf shape like scales or hairs, and have leaves without a stem structure.

5. Macrophile Fern

Macrophile ferns are ferns with very broad leaves. The characteristics are that the leaves are branched and have veins and are in the shape of large leaves, macrophile leaves already have cell differentiation for reproduction, and leaves have stems.

6. Ancient Nail Plants

This type of fern has been found for a long time. That is why it is called ancient nails. The ancient fern is now nearly extinct. This type of fern is branched and covered with fine hairs. Ancient ferns have fibrous roots and also serve as glue for other plants. The ancient fern lives in tropical and subtropical climates such as Hawaii and Japan.

In addition, this fern has micro-affinity leaves, chlorophyll stems, and no true leaves. An example of ancient ferns is Psilotum .

7. Wire Nails

The characteristics of the wire nail are the leaves are small, not stemmed, and the stem is shaped like a wire. Sporangia collect in the axillary cones of the leaves. Examples of this wire nail plant are Isoetes and Lycopodium.

8. Horsetail Fern 

A distinctive feature of the horsetail fern is that it has one small leaf. The stems are segmented and green. The sporangium is conical in shape. This type of fern likes high and humid places. Examples of horsetail ferns are Caramite and Equisetum (horsetail).

9. Real Nails

The original fern is one of the fern plants that we often encounter today. There may be native ferns in your garden. True ferns have large, hairy stems and leaves. When young, the leaves curl. This fern has many soles under its leaves. This plant can be found in the shade and in damp places.

Well, that’s an explanation of the characteristics and examples of ferns. Can Sinaumed’s identify it? Actually, the type of fern itself has many species, but their characteristics are almost similar. The shape or anatomy of this fern plant differs from other types of plants.

If Sinaumed’s wants to learn more about the characteristics and examples of ferns or other types of plants, then you can visit sinaumedia’s book collection at Have a good study. #Friends Without Limits.

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Author: Lala Nilawanti

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