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What is a Fern ?
is a Fern ?
fern is a leafy, flowerless plant that grows in areas of high
moisture. Ferns are vascular plants, in that they have a complex
internal vein structure that supplies nutrients to the outer
regions of the plant. A fern is different from other vascular
plants in that most vascular plants grow directly from seeds,
while a fern grows from a spore, through an intermediate stage
called a gametophyte.
requires certain characteristics in its surroundings to grow.
Moisture in the air and soil is a must. A fern is a fairly
delicate plant, so wind protection is needed also. A fern
will require some direct sunlight, but not too much. Ferns
also prefer climates that are more or less constant. A fern
will usually not live through a frost.
have even more specific conditions when it comes to reproducing.
For example, a fern may live for a while in a fairly hostile
environment, but will most likely not be able to reproduce
there. Ferns will only grow naturally where conditions suit
the survival of both the plants themselves, and the intermediate
gametophytes. It is commonly accepted that the strength of
the gametophyte alone will determine survival of the fern.
Ferns have evolved to suit their environment.
While some ferns are able to tolerate drought and heat, others
will only thrive in the densest of rain forests. For a fern
to grow properly in a garden, the garden and its surroundings
must be very similar, nearly identical, to the environment
it evolved in. For example, a tree fern, found mostly in rain
forest climates, will not live in a garden that mimics a desert.