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Frond of Ferns

A fern’s soft and graceful nature brings peace of mind when the potted plant is placed on your kitchen counter. Ferns are happiest in moist places like rainforests, but can also be found in mountains, near coastlines, cities, and even deserts. Ferns are epiphytes. They are like moss and algae. They can grow on other plants without harming the plant.

Ferns have really cool leaves. They look like feathers. These divided leaves are called fronds. Not all ferns look feathery. Some look like fans, and may even be see-through.

Ferns - Rainforest Plants - EdTechLens Blog
Ferns are different in other ways too. For instance, they have a different way to reproduce. Ferns depend on spores that act like seeds to reproduce. If you look underneath the fronds the spores look like tiny pieces of dust. Spores are so light the wind or even birds can carry them away. When spores land on moist surfaces they have the best chance of making new ferns. Baby ferns whose spores land on other plants need lots of water and some light to grow tall and healthy. It’s harder to get nutrients that way because they aren’t rooted to the ground. Ferns that grow from the ground absorb water and nutrients easily from their strong anchored roots.

If you were a fern would you rather grow from the ground or live on top of another one?

Ferns - Liam Mahoney
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 4: Chapter, Lesson 3, Grades K, 2 +4

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