Of all the plant families on earth, ferns are among the most ancient. Their ancestors found even dinosaurs roaming our planet millions of years ago, and since then the ferns themselves have changed rather little. Their most gigantic varieties either died out or were crushed over time, but those that grow today, from the point of view of botany, hardly differ from their distant predecessors. And due to the lack of flowers open to the eyes, they caused riddles in people for many centuries, until scientists finally revealed their secret.
Interesting facts about ferns
- Ferns — this is one of the oldest higher plants that appeared about 400 million years ago in the Devonian period of the Paleozoic era. Giant tree ferns largely determined the appearance of the planet back in the time of the dinosaurs.
- Those ferns that grow now are only the remnants of a rich kingdom that inhabited our planet millions of years ago. Most of these ancient, beautiful plants died out with the dinosaurs due to climate change.
- Tasmania is called the island of ferns. The island is mostly covered with evergreen forests dominated by fern plant species, which makes the nature resemble prehistoric. To see it with your own eyes, however, you have to go to Australia (interesting facts about Australia).
- In total, there are more than 10,000 different types of ferns in the world, but outwardly most of them are similar to each other.
- Ferns do not yet have true leaves. But they took the first steps in their direction. What a fern resembles a leaf is not a leaf at all, but by its nature is a whole system of branches, and even located in the same plane. This is what is called so – a flat branch, or frond, or, another name – a run.
- Ferns have no seeds.
- Many species of tropical ferns have adapted to life on the trunks and branches of trees.
- Ferns reproduce by means of spores. About the same as mushrooms do (interesting facts about mushrooms).
- Some ferns are parasitic plants, they shoot their shoots along the trunk of trees, forming a semblance of vines.
- Ferns secrete special substances that inhibit the vital activity of other organisms, including plants.
- Despite the foregoing, some of their species are used as medicinal plants.
- The trunks of tree ferns serve as building material in the tropics, and in Hawaii, their starchy core is used as food.
- The black tree fern growing in New Zealand reaches more than 20 meters in height and has a girth of about 50 centimeters (interesting facts about New Zealand).
- Some species of ferns are very poisonous.
- Japanese researchers have found that ferns remove radiation from the body.
- In Japan, Korea and China, some ferns are eaten in one form or another.