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07-Jun-2016 01:51

These plants laid down the deep coal beds we now mine for energy.Most of the dominant tropical coal-swamp plants became extinct over time.Lastly, the Georgia Native Plant Society is acknowledged for its continuing support of this series of publications.Ferns first appeared in the fossil record more than 350 million years ago.Lycophytes, which include Quillworts are less closely related to ferns and are more closely related to an ancestral plant that is not shared by the ferns.

Lycophytes, horsetails and whisk ferns are often referred to as “fern allies,” because they generally don’t resemble ferns, but do have some similarities.

On the other hand, fossil records and DNA analysis have revealed that horsetails ARE ferns, even though they don’t resemble ferns.

Whisk ferns consist of leafless branches and slender, creeping rhizomes, but no roots.

As land masses separated and collided, fern species colonized new areas.

A second explanation for this widespread distribution is long-distance spore dispersal.

Lycophytes, horsetails and whisk ferns are often referred to as “fern allies,” because they generally don’t resemble ferns, but do have some similarities.On the other hand, fossil records and DNA analysis have revealed that horsetails ARE ferns, even though they don’t resemble ferns.Whisk ferns consist of leafless branches and slender, creeping rhizomes, but no roots.As land masses separated and collided, fern species colonized new areas.A second explanation for this widespread distribution is long-distance spore dispersal.Ferns produce millions of spores that, when ripe, are ejected or catapulted into the surrounding air.