Ferns are one of the oldest yet still thriving plants that you can find on Earth. Ferns can be easily considered as very ancient organisms since their existence predates those of dinosaurs and the flowering plants that you are more familiar with. They are leafy plants, which mostly find their habitats in moist areas, preferably those which are shaded from the sun because the strong presence of the sun may cause them to weaken and die. They have well-developed vein structures within themselves that sustain the flow of nutrients and water inside. Ferns may be found in the crevices of slightly broken rocks, and some of them are vines and weeds. Generally, ferns can be found in places where there is a permanent source of moisture like in creeks, streams, swamps and riverbeds.
Meanwhile since ferns do not have flowers, their mode of reproduction differs from the other plants and flowers. They reproduce with very tiny, dust-like items called spores. Spores are produced inside sori, another tiny spotlike item found inside the ferns. Given the right living conditions, spores grow into a small heart-shaped plant called the gametophyte. Then, they act as the seed of the ferns when they find a considerably moist place. They become sporophytes and enable the reproduction of ferns by producing new spores of its own.
Here is how you can locate the spores of ferns:
- First, you must locate a fern. You will initially need to have a fern to examine at your hand first. Since you have known that ferns normally grow in slightly moist areas and which are not directly reached by sunlight, go to areas that exhibit these characteristics. You can go to nearby swamps or bogs and look for ferns planted there.
- Master the parts of a fern. You need to do this to locate the spores in a fern. Fronds are to ferns as leaves are to plants. The smaller leaflets are the pinnae. Under the ferns, you can see clumped spots that seem to get stuck under the pinnae. This is where you can find the spores.
- Look for sporangium. The sporangium gives protection to the spores by casing them within it. The sporangium is also a clumped up substance in the sori. Sometimes, they can also be found in the side of pinna. Once you have found them you can easily look for the spores as well since they are always near each other.
- Look for changing colors inside the ferns. The sporangium changes color when they ripen. They usually turn from green to different shades of yellow. When they are already yellow, it means that they are already ripe and that the spores inside it can be collected already. Once you see little yellow spots inside the ferns, then you can locate the spores within these spots.
Reproducing ferns through spores is one amazing process. The process by which any presence of moisture can bring forth another fern is truly remarkable. With this article, you will know when to find ferns and the spores within it, which can help propagate organisms of their kind. Do the right thing and get to view the wonderful spores found inside the ferns.