Ferns — Polypodiaceae & Pteridaceae: Polypody & Brake Families
Ferns are not flowering plants and lack the separate male and female parts that form the basis of most flowering plants’ reproductive processes. Instead, ferns have spores which, when they fall in a suitably moist, shady place, are able to trigger the fern’s reproductive cycle. Partly because of these differences, discussions of ferns use some different terminology:
- A fern’s leaf is called a frond divided into pinnae which are in turn subdivided into pinnules
- The underside of the pinnules contain sori which in turn contain the sporangia which their turn contain the spores
- Sori may be covered by a membrane-like indusium. A false indusium is a covering formed by a reflexed margin of the pinna / pinnule. Not all ferns have clearly defined sori
All ferns included here are native to California.