Fern (Filicineae), 1) botanical, a group of vascular spore plants comprising several families and two subclasses: water ferns (Hydropterclasseae) and true ferns (Filices). In the former, spores of two kinds are large and small, in the latter, of one genus, producing monoecious outgrowths. Most of the grass, a few are tree-like (up to 26 meters in height); almost all ferns are perennial, only a few are annuals.
The leaves are very diverse and beautiful, almost always consisting of a cut and a blade, with a characteristic branching (nerve) of the veins, which serves as a good indicator for distinguishing between genera and species, especially fossil ferns. Spores develop in containers called sporangia (spore fruits); spores are small, unicellular, round or kidney-shaped.
Ferns - up to 4000 species, distributed throughout the globe, especially in the tropics. Most of the ferns in the Russian flora belong to the Polypodiaceae family. 2) Medicinal, fresh fern rhizome (Aspclassium filix mas) is used to prepare a specifically acting anthelmintic.
Ferns are relict plants that have survived since the time of dinosaurs. This statement is partly true. Fern plants appeared over 350 million. Most of these beautiful ancient plants became extinct due to climate change along with the dinosaurs.
The fern grows near the water. Indeed, these plants are very fond of moisture and prefer to grow in shady forests and near streams. But the presence of a reservoir nearby is not at all necessary, and ferns take root anywhere: in swamps, forests, in meadows and even on rocks. At the same time, rock ferns do not tolerate a large amount of water and prefer dryness.
Ferns don't grow where it's cold. This statement is not entirely true, and although most ferns do love a humid and warm climate, they are common throughout the world, with the exception of deserts and Antarctica. Many ferns are winter-hardy and are found in Siberia, on the subarctic islands and glaciers of the Arctic Ocean.
Fern is a small herbaceous plant. In fact, ferns are different, and their family includes over 10,000 species. These are the familiar herbs, and small bushes, and lianas, and epiphytes (mosses and lichens) growing on tree trunks and rotten stumps, and even the fern trees themselves, found only in tropical forests.
All ferns are very similar to each other. We think that all ferns look like the common ferns known to us, widespread in central Russia, or bracken, with leaves similar to palm. In fact, the appearance of ferns is very different! For example, the Marsilia fern grows in water and has four petals. The leaves of the scraper have a bluish tint, and in the ostrich they resemble a snail in shape. The small-leaved azolla covers the pond with a green carpet, and the antler fern grows on trees, collecting organic residues in a basket from its leaves as fertilizers.
The fern flower is endowed with magical properties. According to the ancient belief of the Slavs, who picked a fern flower on the night of Ivan Kupala (supposedly only then they bloom) will be able to understand the language of animals. But in fact, these plants never bloom, so the magical fern flower simply does not exist in nature.
The fern reproduces by spores. Not only. In many ferns, reproduction occurs when the main shoots are divided into small ones or, like in the nephrolepis fern, the beginning of the whisker-branches comes from the underground rhizome. Some fern species reproduce by brood buds that form on the leaves.
Fern is an inedible plant. Although in our gardens these plants are planted more as ornamental, many species of ferns are eaten. Their fresh leaves are very popular in Tokyo and are eaten with pleasure on the island of Java, New Zealand and the Philippines, boiled, fried and baked in Mexico and Brazil. And the Indians of America bake bread from the roots of the fern. Fern leaves are often added to salads.
Reproduction spores form on fern leaves. And here there are some exceptions. There are ferns in which not all leaves are spore-bearing, but only individual shoots, called sporophylls. For example, in the ferns of the species, the leaves are sterile, and the spores develop in a spike with legs.
Fern protects against mosquitoes. Folk remedy for mosquito control: hang fresh shoots of bracken fern around the room. It is believed that insects do not tolerate its smell and are in a hurry trying to leave the room. In fact, the fern is effective in the fight only against flies and gadflies, and mosquitoes do not react to its elusive smell and certainly do not fly away. Do not believe it - check it out!
You cannot grow a fern at home! It may be problematic to collect spores from leaves, sow and germinate them on your own, but meanwhile ferns are grown in apartments and greenhouses, and there are no particular difficulties in this. There are fern species that reproduce by self-seeding and are quite unpretentious. There are also those that can be simply divided into processes and transplanted.