Unusual and Bizarre Plants - The Whisk Ferns. ... (ferns, horsetails, and whisk ferns). Add to Bookmarks. The whisk fern (Psilotum spp., family Psilotaceae) splays its leafless, whisk-like branches upward, and is a living fossil from the time before the dinosaurs.It can grow as an epiphyte in moist climates or as a terrestrial plant in drier areas. True 5. Ferns are some of the oldest plants in the world. If you hang out in greenhouses long enough, you are most likely to encounter them as “weeds” growing in pots with other plants. The Method of Reproduction in Ferns. The single genus Equisetum is the survivor of a large group of plants, known as Arthrophyta, which produced large trees and entire swamp forests in the Carboniferous. This little plant is quite familiar to me as I have had them spring up as volunteers from time to time in pots containing other plants. In contrast, whisk ferns, the psilophytes, lack both roots and leaves, which were probably lost by evolutionary reduction. False 4. Whisk fern, Psilotum nudum, doesn't have true leaves, nor does it have true roots.But it is a true plant, not quite a fern, not quite a vascular plant, more fern in appearance, more vascular in function. The whisk ferns also have large, round nodules that grow from very short branches and bear the spores of the fern. Ferns, horsetails, and whisk ferns produce archegonia and antheridia. Another adaptation plants have developed is broad leaves, to enhance the surface area available for photosynthesis to take place. They belong to the lower vascular plant division Pteridophyta, having leaves usually with branching vein systems. Specimen 5: Psilotum (whisk fern), homosporous seedless vascular plant 1. Ferns are considered the most advanced seedless vascular plants and display characteristics commonly observed in seed plants. They grow in humid areas such as tropical and temperate rainforests soil, rocks and other plants. False 3. Though they aren’t often put on display by themselves, the whisk ferns … There are about 10,560 known species of fern. The plants are usually found in damp environments and marshes (Figure 2). As one of the most primitive plant types, ferns have surprisingly sophisticated reproductive adaptations. Last edited: 28 May 2015 << Previous. The whisk ferns (Psilotum spp.) 1. I have a nice group of them growing among the tightly packed roots at the base of a large Royal Palm. (Unequal branching leads to more complex structures, thus dichotomous branching is a … Observe the sporophyte of Psilotum18, which has a green, dichotomously (equally) branched stem that is photosynthetic and has vascular tissue. Interestingly, the whisk ferns have developed mycorrhizal associations, perhaps they are necessary in the absence of true roots. Horsetails, whisk ferns and ferns belong to the phylum Monilophyta, with horsetails placed in the Class Equisetopsida. The non-photosynthetic leaves of horsetails are called fronds. These leaves also react to the presence of light by turning towards it, which also enhances photosynthesis. Psilotum grows wild in Florida woodlands and all members of the division, Psilophyta, today are tropical plants. Lycophytes and pterophytes are referred to as seedless vascular plants, because they do not produce seeds. Ferns produce sporangia in structures called sori. A fern is a member of a group of vascular plants that reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers. These adaptations are noticeably lacking in the closely related green algae—another reason for the debate over their placement in the plant kingdom. are a peculiar group of plants. Psilotum nudum. Next >> FREE 6-Week Course. It is native to Florida, found in almost every county from the central part of the state to the Keys. Ferns form large leaves and branching roots. 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