Unidentified species of fern in autumn.

Unidentified species of fern in autumn.

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Credit: JOHN HESELTINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: An unidentified species of fern, in autumn. Fern leaves are tightly coiled when young, unwinding as they expand. Spores are produced on the undersides of the fronds, and if they fall on wet ground they develop into small heart-shaped structures called prothalli. Each prothallus possesses male and female reproductive structures. In wet conditions the male cells migrate to the female receptacles. New fern plants grow from the fertilised female structures.

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Keywords: autumn vegetation, botany, fern in autumn, ferns, nature, plant, pteridophyte, pteridophytes

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