This is much the largest order of ferns with about 35 families, 320 genera and 10,500 species. Members are homosporous, meaning the spores they produce are all alike. These spores are borne in sporangia, which are ofter clustered together in heaps called sori. The spores germinate to produce free-living gametophytes which are inconspicuous and grow in moist places. These then produce male and female reproductive structures. When they have been fertilized, new plants grow from the female gametophytes.
Photographic study by Anne Bruce of fern reproduction with fine macroscopic and microscopic images.
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