An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions/Pteridophyta

Illustrated Flora
Subkingdom Pteridophyta.*
Ferns and Fern Allies.

Plants containing woody and vascular tissues in the stem and producing spores asexually, which, on germination, develop small mostly flat green structures called prothallia (gametophyte).   On these are borne the sexual reproductive organs, the female known as archegones, the male as antherids.  From the fertilization of the oösphere of the archegone by spermatozoids produced in the antherids, the asexual phase (sporophyte) of the plants is developed; this phase is represented by an ordinary fern, lycopod or horsetail.

This subkingdom comprises about 6,000 living species, of which more than three-fourths are confined to tropical regions.   The number of extinct species known probably exceeds those living.  They appeared on the earth in the early part of the Palaeozoic Era, reached their greatest abundance in Carboniferous Time, but have since been mainly replaced by plants of higher organization, so that at present they form only a small proportion of the total flora.  The time of year noted under each species indicates the season at which the spores are mature.


* Text (except Equisetaceae and Isoetaceae) revised by William R. Maxon.


Pteridophyta Familes
Family 1.  Ophioglossaceae Adder's Tongue Family
Family 2.  Osmundaceae Royal-Fern Family
Family 3.  Hymenophyllaceae Filmy-Fern Family
Family 4.  Schizaeaceae Climbing-Fern Family
Family 5.  Polypodiaceae Fern Family
Family 6.  Marsileaceae Marsilea Family
Family 7.  Salviniaceae Salvinia Family
Family 8.  Equisetaceae Horsetail Family
Family 9.  Lycopodiaceae Club Moss Family
Family 10.  Selaginellaceae Selaginella Family
Family 11.  Isoetaceae Quillwort Family