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Vascular Plants - a quick review - page 10 / 12

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Phylum Polypodiophyta

There is major disagreement on what are the fern families, but 30 are generally recognized worldwide. In Wisconsin there are 9 families.

Characters used to circumscribe families often relate to cryptic features such as the presence or absence of annulus and its orientation, the length and diameter (number of cells) of the sporangial stalk, spore shape, stem and petiole cross- section anatomy. The primitive ferns include horsetails and whiskferns.

Phylum Polypodiophyta

Ophioglossaceae - adders tongue family

Primitive ferns; 4 genera in Wisconsin: Ophioglossum and Botrychium (now 3 genera)

Botrychium mormo Goblin fern

Botrychium lunaria Moonwort fern

Botrypus virginianum Rattlesnake fern

Phylum Polypodiophyta

Ophioglossaceae - adders tongue family

Primitive ferns; 2 genera in Wisconsin: Ophioglossum and Botrychium (now 3 genera)

Sporangia are on an erect axis with a green blade attached below the sporangia bearing part

Ophioglossum pusillum Adders tongue fern

Phylum Polypodiophyta

Osmundaceae - royal fern family

Primitive ferns; 1 genus in Wisconsin: Osmunda

Fertile and sterile leaves dimorphic and the fertile portion is non-green at maturity. Sporangia not clustered in sori, but naked.

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