I was sharing with my husband what interesting facts I just learned concerning ferns in my Honors Botany lecture on Tuesday and realized I should share it with you too.
So here goes, did you know that ferns have been on the Earth for 350 million years and there are 12,000 species? Ferns are also the species that bridges the gap between Algae and the other species of plants: Moses, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms.
They need to be close to a water source like a pond, lake, spring, or marsh for their reproduction. When it is time for reproduction the female ferns and the male ferns release spores into the air, but it is when they land into a water source that fertilization occurs. This is what causes a high rate of hybridization, because the females will let different varieties of ferns fertilize her spores. This is what is called intersexual competition by the females of the species.
Leaves of ferns are known as fronds and these plants do not have secondary growth. In other words they do not have woody stems, but instead use their energy is used for primary growth consisting of leaves and roots.
These leaves are called Fronds and the new growth are known as Fiddleheads, because that is what they resemble. These Fiddleheads then will unfurl revealing the Fronds.
So there you have it, Botany 1411 about ferns in a nut shell.
Until Next Time.