Fern – mysterious plant
Once upon a time the ferns covered our entire planet. And they were huge trees! Ferns are flowerless green plants. Their featherlike leaves are called fronds. Young fern leaves are tightly curled. Ferns reproduce by dispersing spores instead of seeds. The spore cases, called sporangia are located in pockets on the margins of the leaves. There are about 12,000 different species of fern throughout the world. Some types first appeared on Earth more than 360 million years ago. Some species are free-floating aquatic plants, some species grow in moist woodlands, and a few species grow in arid or semiarid regions.
Ferns come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
Such animals as deer eat ferns, and some birds use them to line their nests.
The bristle fern has thin, very dry, egg–shaped leaves. The leaves are attached to creeping, wiry stems.
The bristle fern needs a constant source of flowing water.
In the nineteenth century, it was sought after to adorn sitting rooms in England and other European countries. Because of its decorative nature, the plant is commonly grown in botanical gardens.
A type of fern known as a shield fern grows in a rocky crevice.
According to folklore, ferns made invisible seeds and a person who held these would also become invisible. Even Shakespeare wrote in Henry IV; “we have the receipt of fern seed; we walk invisible.”
The fossils of ferns have contributed greatly to the formation of our fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas.
Herbalists have advocated some fern species for treatment of ulcers, rheumatism, intestinal infections, and various other ailments.
It was believed that once a year (Kupala Night) the fern blossomed with a beautiful, brightly glowing flower. There were many people who wanted to find the flower and became rich and happy. Unfortunately, no precious treasures of ferns can be found, and not because the fern is not magical, but because it, in fact, never blooms.
Japanese researchers found out that the fern removes radiation from the body.
The Slavs also believed that if you cut and burn the fern, there would be rain. Therefore, this method was widely used during a drought.