Phyla of the Plant Kingdom

For Mrs. Newton

Pteridophyta

Pteridophyta: Ferns

Ferns are vascular plants, meaning that they have xylem and phloem, and is a group of about 12,000 plants. They also play a major part in folklore. On example is a Finnish rumor that if one finds the "seed" of a fern blooming on Midsummer Night, a day between June 21 and 24, they will be guided to hidden treasure. Ferns also have the ability to remove some pollutants from the air, making them useful in scientific research.

Evolution

Early fossils of ferns date back to the early-Carboniferous period, though most modern fern families date back to the "great fern radiation", in the late-Cretaceous period.
A fossil of an early fern

Uses

Ferns are not quite important to the economy as seed plants are, but still play an important role in some societies. Some ferns are used for food, including the fiddleheads of bracken, also known as Pteridium aquilinum; the ostrich fern, as well as the cinnamon fern, which, despite their name, do not produce cinnamon. Some ferns have been found to be useful in the removal of heavy metals, such as arsenic, a potent poison, from the soil. However, some ferns, like the Japenese Climbing Fern and the mosquito fern are considered invasive species.