The Pteridophyta Divsion contains ferns. Ferns are plants with leaves, roots, and stems; but they do not have flowers like most plants. Ferns have special stems, called rhizomes, which grow sideways at the surface or underground. Many leaves grow from rhizomes and make fern colonies. Fern leaves are called fronds. Fronds have a petiole (leaf stalk) and blade (main part of leaf). Each leaf has smaller leaflets called pinnae. Instead of flowers, ferns have sori, which grow directly on leaves. Sori make spores, which travel by wind, water, or animal to new locations where new fern colonies can begin. Since they spread by spores, ferns do not have flowers, pollen, fruits, or seeds.
The Pteridophyta Divsion only contains one class: Filicopsida.
Filicopsida Class: Filicopsida is the only class in the Pteridophyta Division, so the description above applies to the Class as well as the Division. The Filicopsida Class is split into four Orders.
Polypodiales Order: This Order includes Bracken Ferns, Wood Ferns, Chain Ferns, Spleenworts, Flowering Ferns, Tree Ferns, Royal Ferns, Polypodies, Maidenhair Ferns, and Marsh Ferns.
Hydropteridales Order: This Order includes Floating Ferns, Water-clover, and Azolla.
Marattiales Order: This Order includes Vessel Ferns.
Ophioglossales Order: This Order includes Adder's Tongue.
All of the Orders above have been split into smaller groups, called Families. Families are then split into Genera. Remember, as each group gets smaller, organisms in that group are more and more alike. Each Genus will contain individual Species.
Information on specific Families and Genera is not included on this website, but you can find out which groups a species belongs to by checking the Classification Box at the bottom of each Species Page. See the example of an Cinnamon Fern below: