Fabulous Ferns

A Passion for Birds

Originating around 360 million years ago, ferns still populate the earth. They are vascular plants but are herbaceous, or lacking wood. This means they have both xylem (which carries water and nutrients) and phloem (which carries mainly sucrose). There are around 10,000 species of ferns in the world.

Ferns also reproduce through the use of spores. Spores often contain lipids, proteins and calories, tempting some animals to eat and spread them. Spores are contained in packets called sori (plural of sorus).

Most ferns have fronds, further divided into the stipe, or “stem,” which leads up to the blade, containing the pinna coming out of the rachis. Pinnules, which look like tiny leaves, come out of the pinna rachis. Groups of pinnules form the pinnae. The fronds are connected by root-like parts known as rhizomes and are grounded by roots.

Ferns can be found in woodlands, on mountains, deserts and open…

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