Ferns are the nonflowering vascular plants having true leaves, stems, and roots.
Ferns are believed to be one of the oldest plants on earth and are the second most diverse group of vascular plants.
These plants reproduce by means of spores.
They inhabit warm and damp areas of the earth.
Some ferns are also used as a source of food and medicines also.
Azolla is used in paddy fields as a biofertilizer.
The dominant phase of the life cycle is represented by sporophyte which is differentiated into true stem, leaves, and roots.
Vascular tissue consists of xylem (without vessels) and phloem (without companion cells).
Vegetative propagation occurs by multiplication and takes place by bulbils, fragmentation, and adventitious buds.
Sporophylls are present which are sporangia containing leaves.
The gametophyte is small, inconspicuous, autotrophic and independent.
Leaves are large sized and called fronds which may be simple with one blade or pinnately compound.
A single-layered jacket is present around the sporangium.
Ferns exhibit alternation of dominant sporophyte generation with an inconspicuous gametophyte generation. Hence, they are heteromorphic.